Analog blogging – a way to bridge the digital divide

Great post I came across earlier this spring, which makes us learn quite a lot about how information can be distributed despite lack of access to media outlets. Alfred Sirleaf runs a giant black board on a street of Monrovia, Liberia clled the “Daily News”. Check it out:

Liberia’s Blackboard Blogger from WhiteAfrican on Vimeo.

At the board posts news from a network of volunteer correspondents from across the country. His writings are supported by symbols in order to get the message through to people with limited literacy skills. An analog blog can teach us how to think about online and offline communication in areas where internet, or let alone power is limited. Circulating information among people who already have the access to this information is much less challenging than broadening the scope to the wide public. Ushahidi, which we have praised on this blog, is trying to meet exactly those challenges of online-offline disconnect by talking to journalists from old media of radio and print, who still reach way more people.

Alfred wants to bring the black board to other parts of Monrovia and Liberia. It will be interesting to see how bloggers and online activists can learn to connect better with communities offline and the “Daily News” black board format could be a great place to start!

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