International Center for Journalists
CGNet Swara is a voice-based portal that allows anyone to report and listen to stories of local interest over a phone.
CGNet Swara is a voice portal that enables ordinary citizens to report and discuss issues of local interest in Central Gondwana region in India. To use it, they call a phone number using any mobile (or fixed line) phone. Callers are prompted to press “1” to record a new message, and “2” to listen to messages that have already been recorded.
Once a message has been recorded from the field, professional, trained journalists, who access the system using a Web-based interface, review and verify the report. Approved reports are then made available for playback over the phone. The reports also can be accessed on the CGNet Swara website. CGNet Swara was launched as part of the Knight International Journalism Fellowships, a program of the International Center for Journalists.
CGNet Swara is working in the Central Gondwana region in India. It is a product that can be deployed anywhere.
CGNet Swara is the distributor/implementer for the solution. They stated they are willing to offer guidance to other organizations that are seeking to establish similar services around the world.
This is an open-source product.
Communities with poor press, communication, and information services.
Open source. Code is available at Github.
As of March 2016, CGNet Swara receives about 1,000 phone calls per day that would amount to over 2million calls so far. Most callers only listen to reports. In 2016, there was an average of 6 reports published per day and 11 impact reports per month. Since its inception in 2010, there have been a total of 8,832 published reports and 400 impact reports.
AM or FM
Where is the information that is being transmitted in the radio coming from? Radio station, cloud-based content, mobile or other source.
Is there an option to access this device remotly/online? If yes, specify the technology (Internet, GSM, etc)
How can users access the radio content broadcasted by this device? Radio receiver (personal radio), Internet (computer, phone), etc
What is the range/distance that the radio can reach when transmitted?
Does the device has capabilities to manage content remotly/through the Internet? If yes, specify the technology (Internet, GSM, etc)
CGNet Swara is a voice portal that enables ordinary citizens to report and discuss issues of local interest. Users call a number where an automated systems prompts them to record a voice message or listen to messages that have been recorded by others. The recorded messages are moderated by journalists and become available for playback online as well as over the phone.
CGNet Swara serves people who lack access to mainstream media outlets and works on a Linux server with an internet connection. Some of the libraries that need to be configured in server are: mysql, mysql-server, wget, gcc, gcc-c++, bison, libtermcap-devel, newt, newt-devel, ncurses, ncurses-devel, svn, zlib, zlib-devel, openssl, openssl-devel, kernel-devel, httpd, php-mysql, php and MySQL-python.
CGNet Swara has the aim to empower marginalized people, including India’s 80 million tribals, by giving them an outlet to communicate with each other and the national and global media. Because the system gives rural, low-literate communities a way to connect using their own words and voices, CGnet Swara also can play an important role in preserving some of India’s ancient tribal languages. Their vision is to scale the service within India and eventually beyond, creating an ecosystem of local reports that is universally accessible via low-cost mobile phones.
Although there are no reports/studies from testing organizations available, CGNet Swara counts with the support of several relevant organizations including Environics Trust, Gates Foundation, Hivos, International Center for Journalists, IPS Media Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Sitara, UN Democracy Fund.
The system requirements in which the CGNet Swara server can be replicated are:
– A desktop computer running Linux and Asterisk.
– An Internet connection (for hosting the Web server).
– A telephone interface. CGNet Swara recommends the Topex Mobilink IP to enable calls via a cellular SIM card.
Meghana M, et al., 2016, ICT-Enabled Grievance Redressal in Central India: A Comparative Analysis. Microsoft. June. Accessed May 21, 2020.
Mudliar P., Donner J., Thies W., 2012, Emergent Practices Around CGNet Swara: A Voice Forum for Citizen Journalism in Rural India. Information Technologies & International Development 65-79.
Compliance with in-country press and broadcasting regulatory framework is required to install a radio web portal.
Number of broadcasters, number of listeners reached.
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