Author Archives: Eddie

About Eddie

Rising Voices Director at Global Voices
Former Latin America and Spanish Language Editor
Former Volunteer Author for Bolivia

Lingua Airwaves – October Update

The first phase of the Lingua Airwaves Project with Global Voices Aymara is almost complete. A team of five volunteers with the help of the radio journalist Norma Barrancos recorded eleven podcasts that consisted of summaries of translations of Global Voices posts. The idea of creating summaries came from the fact that the content is targeted at a local audience in El Alto, Bolivia that may not be as familiar with all of the elements that make up a normal Global Voices stories. Together with the help of Norma, the team created scripts that explained the topic and added different audio elements, such as different voices to narrate some of the citizen media quotes and other music to accompany the piece.

We’re currently in the process of editing the eleven clips with adding a short introduction by Victoria. The clip below is one of the finished audio clips that pulls together this introduction followed by the story content. For those of you that may not understand Aymara, if you listen at 0:43 at the clip below, you can hear a mention of “Global Voices” and Victoria explains to the audience that the story is comprised of citizen media content from around the world and translated by a volunteer team of translators.

(We will be adding more information such as a link to the corresponding translation and information about the narrators)

One of the major hurdles during this first phase was the unfamiliarity with the new recording equipment. Norma is an experienced journalist much more comfortable with her audio equipment that she has been using for years, and using a new piece of equipment was, in her own words, “intimidating.” So for the first round of recordings, she did not use the new Olympus recorders and we all acknowledge that the sound quality is not what it could be. The task of putting together the scripts and working with the translators was deemed to be the priority during the first part of the project

However, during the second week of October, we had an intensive training together with Victoria and Norma in the use of the new equipment. We are happy to report that Norma and Victoria feel much more confident in the use of the higher quality digital audio recorder and will use it for the next round of recordings.

Norma Barrancos practicing with the new digital audio recorders by interviewing Victoria Tinta

Norma Barrancos practicing with the new digital audio recorders by interviewing Victoria Tinta

Next up: distribution strategies and the airing of the clips on the radio.

Global Voices Aymara – Radio Demo

Here is a SoundCloud recording of an early demo of the Lingua Airwaves project, where members of the GV Aymara community have been teaming up with a local Aymara journalist to record adapted versions of the GV Aymara translations. The idea is to produce small clips that can be played on the radio, and also edit them together for a longer audio podcast.

In this recording, GV Aymara Editor Victoria Tinta reports on the post – “Workshop: Digital Media for Endangered Languages in Latin America

The team is still fine tuning the format, as well as learning how to better use the new digital audio recorders.

More demos will be posted soon.

GV in Your Community – August Update

The “GV in Your Community” innovation grant is underway with some exciting news. As you may recall, the project calls for six in-person meet-ups and six virtual Hangouts as a way to build stronger ties with our readers, microgrant applicants, and others that might be interested in meeting our community.

Earlier this year, we announced the initiative on the GV Community list, and received an outpouring of interest from GVers eager to take part. Some offered to host a meet-up, develop the program/agenda, or help out any way that they could.

The first step was to decide where the six in-person meet-ups will take place. There were several factors that were given high priority in making this selection.

1.) Strong GV Presence – We decided that it would be best that each site should have a team of two primary coordinators responsible for the organizing and logistics of the meet-up, as a way to share responsibility. We also searched for GVers that may have attended at least one GV Summit in the past, since it would demonstrated that he or she is active in the community and can convey the benefits of getting to know one another in a physical setting. While there will be two primary coordinators at each site, other GVers in that location may also want to get involve in some capacity.

2.) Demonstrated Need – As mentioned in the original Innovation Grant proposal, we want to address the fact that we have received nearly 2700 microgrant applications over the past three years. Unfortunately, we have only been able to fund 16 during that period. So to also help determine where the first six meet-ups would be held, we took a look at the number of applicants from each region and country. However, it will not be a requirement for attendance that he/she applied for a RV microgrant, but they will be given high priority.

3.) Geographic and Linguistic Diversity – Balance among the regions and in various languages

So considering a combination of these factors, we are pleased to announce the six confirmed sites and their coordinating team:

    Kampala, Uganda: Maureen Agena and Rosebell Kagumire
    Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Sopheap Chak and Ramana Sorn
    Skopje, Macedonia: Elena Ignatova and Filip Stojanovski
    Kirachi, Pakistan: Sana Saleem and Faisal Kapadia
    Cairo, Egypt: Mohamed El Gohary and Tarek Amr
    Maputo, Mozambique: Sara Moreira and @Verdade

These six meet-ups will take place between September and November. Watch for further details about exact dates. You may notice that Latin America is not listed on the first six sites. Part of that reason is because of Rising Voices’ earlier activities with the Conectándonos events in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Perú. Other cities/countries were considered a higher priority for this first round.

As also mentioned in the original proposal, we are approaching this as a pilot project to see what works and what does not work. That way, we can help develop a curriculum/program that may be used by other GVers who want to organize something locally and have the experience from the six teams listed above. Already there are GVers who have expressed an interest in the next round, such as Mac-Jordan from Accra.

The virtual meet-ups are still in development. As many of us have noted, the use of Google Hangout is not an exact science. So we are still experimenting and finding the best way to organize. We are happy to note that Jeremy Clarke has graciously agreed to run one of these virtual Hangouts about the use of WordPress.

Additional assistance with the virtual component of this project is especially needed.

Lingua Airwaves – June Update

The Lingua Airwaves Project funded by the GV Innovation Grant kicked off its activities with two meetings in El Alto, Bolivia on June 8 and 15. Attended by translators and editors from Global Voices Aymara, they were joined by a new addition to the project team.

Members of GV Aymara at the first Lingua Airwaves project meeting.

Members of GV Aymara at the first Lingua Airwaves project meeting.

Norma Barrancos Leyva is a radio journalist at the San Gabriel Radio in El Alto, Bolivia, which has become a partner in the exchange of headline widgets. Her daily magazine-style radio program in the Aymara language is an important source of news and local happenings for the city of El Alto. She also participated in Rising Voices’ “Conectándonos” gathering in Cochabamba in January 2013. She is well-known in Bolivia for having participated in an internship at the BBC Studios in London representing indigenous journalists

She agreed to be a part of the project and provide her expertise on creating content for the radio. In addition to helping create scripts for the radio, she will advise the team on proper on-air voice techniques.

At the first meeting, the team discussed possible formats for the GV Aymara articles that would be adapted for the radio and audio podcasts. It was decided that the translation articles could not be directly read and recorded because much of the context is contained in the hyperlinks, and they are written for people that understand that the cited quotes are from bloggers.

Discussing formats for adapting GV translations.

Discussing formats for adapting GV translations.

Another important factor that was discussed is the composition of the audience. The majority of listeners of radio stations in El Alto are not as familiar with global issues in comparison to regular GV readers. This will be another issue to keep in mind as the news is adapted for this audience. It is also important to attempt to relate the subject matter to the audience and make it easier to understand within the context of the voices from citizens on the web.

Before the 2nd meeting, it was learned that the Director at the radio station that had approved the collaborative project had left for another job. This may alter the plans to work directly with that radio station because he was a key ally in the project. We will wait to see if another director will be as open to the partnership. However, it was decided that the audio formatting and recording element to the project will proceed as originally planned. Alternatives to that particular radio station will be explored, not only in Bolivia, but also Peru and Chile where Aymara is spoken.

As part of the grant, the first set of digital audio recorders were purchased. We will be using the Olympus LS-10S along with a Sony ECM-MS907 external microphone.

For the next meeting, the team is selecting potential articles that can be adapted for the radio and audio podcasts. It was determined that the ideal story would be from Bolivia or Latin America, where more listeners would already be familiar with the subject matter, as well as other articles that are not time-sensitive related to current news events.

Innovation Grant Guidelines

Dear GV Community –

Do you have an idea for a project or tool that would help enhance Global Voices’ work or mission? Do you need support in making that idea become a reality?

The four-year grant we received from Omidyar Network in 2010 includes funding to support innovative ideas coming from our community members that could advance the mission of Global Voices. We are launching our first round of internal innovation awards to support this innovation, and invite members of the GV community to propose projects. We expect to award three or four grants in this first round. Each award will be for a maximum of US$5,000. We expect to hold at least one more round of innovation awards in 2012.

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