Channel 16: a new crowdsourcing initiative on disasters and conflict

This is exciting – a new crowdsourcing initiative on humanitarian emergencies that combines wikipedia, youtube and Ushahidi to dig deeper, be more channel 16user-generated and more linked to taking action than standard media coverage. It’s called Channel 16, and here’s the blurb:

“Named after the broadcast frequency of an international distress signal, Channel 16 creates a new frontline for responding to global crises. Via Channel 16, people can see reports from the epicentre of humanitarian emergencies and long term crises and learn what actions they can take to help.

Channel 16’s international network of eyewitness bloggers provides a view from the ground, not a newsdesk. This access to unmediated, direct news makes Channel16 a unique source, unembedded in any army, uncensored by any regime, unprejudiced by any agenda other than to help those in need.”

For a taste, read this account by an aid worker of surviving the chaos of Mogadishu on the 50th anniversary of Somalia’s independence.The remit is humanitarian, with pages on the Pakistan floods, child soldiers hunger and floods in the Sahel, and education and conflict. Channel 16 is looking for original content –  text, stills or video – uploaded from areas of humanitarian emergency by email, text, twitter, phone or online. It’s geared to advocacy and action on humanitarian issues, as well as raising awareness. And it’s also available in French and Spanish. Check it out.

[declaration of interest: Channel 16 is an independent organization, but Oxfam is supporting the initiative, along with War Child, Merlin, the International Crisis Group and lots of others]

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Comments

3 Responses to “Channel 16: a new crowdsourcing initiative on disasters and conflict”
  1. Sorry but I have some doubt about this initiatives, I thought crowdsourcing was about the crowd finally able to express themselves and put up site around issues that matter to them. This is about emergency sourcing, organisations that put themselves to the foreground instead of the subject, with very cheap elements like crying children on the frontsite. This is so against the principle of crowdsourcing.

    Duncan: OK, sorry – crowdsourcing is (my) sloppy use of language. This is more wikipedia than crowdsourcing, but it does broaden the range of sources of information and analysis that get a hearing away from the traditional media, and that’s a step forward in my book

  2. Ken Smith

    I share some of the concerns above. Who decided that the main picture on the front page would be a child crying from DRC and not women in burkhas reading the Koran in Ramadan from Pakistan or Somalia? It’s good to broaden the range of sources of information but it’s not really from the frontline which presumably would be a dull report full of technicalities , of necessity it needs to be designed for the audience they have in mind.

  3. Hapee de Groot

    Hi Duncan,

    I see your point but take a look at http://www.ch16.org/pakistan and at http://pakreport.org/ushahidi/ Channel16 would be helpful if it could add data to the pakreport of import data from the pakreport to show it to a bigger audience. Now it is only disperses information and a platform apparently for Reliefweb which again contradicts to crowdsourcing or the use of Ushahidi software.

    Duncan: that kind of suggestion is exactly what Channel 16 is looking for, Hapee! It’s a new initiative, looking for new sources of info, so why not suggest it directly to them?

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