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Bill Siemering
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My primary passion is to improve the flow of information to those who need it most in developing countries with a primary focus on local radio, the most accessible and widely used medium. After working in public radio program development and station management in the U.S. I began working in international media development in 1993. I worked with the Open Society Institute for 10 years and in 2003 founded Developing Radio Partners to work alongside local radio station to improve management, programming and income generation; facilitate an association to represent the sector to advertisers and donors and create network for programming. We work grass-roots, collaboratively with mutual respect.

I'm now developing the Ideas Network that can bring information on environmental protection, health, agriculture and other development topics by e-mail to stations. I'm interested in expanding the vision by using sms and mobile phone technology. I see frontlinesms as an innovative tool for stations to improve community engagement and become information resource centers. I welcome suggestions and partnerships.

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At 11:38pm on June 15, 2010, Justin Arenstein said…
Hi Bill.

Thanks for the reply. I tried emailing on the address you've given, but kept getting error mssgs?

Anyhow, it is good to hear that you're still working in Malawi. I am assisting one of the country's major newspapers to build a network of rural correspondents and citizen journalists, leveraging mobile technologies. The initial news focus will be on agri-industry and social justice.

The project hopes to draw on my experience in establishing a similar network in South Africa in 1994, without donor funding, which ultimately grew into the sub-continent's largest independent investigative news agency. I will be assisting with both editorial and business strategies.

Anyhow, I don't believe in reinventing the wheel unless absolutely necessary. Mutually beneficial partnerships and commercial synergies usually result in longer term sustainability. I've had some success pioneering print / radio / mobile partnerships in South Africa, and am therefore keen to explore whether there are possible synergies with your project?


Justin Arenstein
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Mobile: +1-650-575-1944
Twitter: JustinArenstein

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At 4:33pm on June 14, 2010, Justin Arenstein said…
Bill, hi there. I see that you posted about an SMS news project in Zambia & Malawi back in November 2009. Are you still involved with the initiative?

I am about to start work with some of Malawi's largest newspapers, building rural news networks & citizen journalists. Mobile tools will be one of the key components in our strategy.

There may be strong synergies with your radio project. If so, I'd love to chat.
At 12:09pm on April 14, 2010, Elizabeth Johnson Tsang said…
I am looking at the websites you recommended. Still trying to understand what I am reading.

Did you hear about the young African-Canadian who has developed a radio station that will fit into a backpack? It costs $500 to produce. I learned about it a few months ago on a BBC podcast.

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