After we shared introductions, the Senior Innovation Advisor for Internews, Anahi Ayala Iacucci talked about her arrival in Kathmandu a couple of days before, and her planned departure three days later. She told us about her mission to travel to the world’s developing countries studying the media landscape of each, and the role of ICT in each society studying the impact of integrating local media and ICTs into humanitarian response.
In her discourse in our meeting hall at Biruwa, she detailed about her organization and its projects. These included their work in Afghanistan with their local partner Nai; mapping incidents of violence against journalists in the country; their SMS helpline network created in alliance with Enslavement Prevention Alliance-West Africa (EPAWA) to prevent human trafficking in Ghana; deriban.net to track land violations in Ukraine; their mesh-casting pilot projects in Kenya and Nigeria, and an introduction to their mesh-casting toolkit.
Then she told us about her findings during her ongoing travel. She told us how the local culture and tech landscape intertwine differently in different places; how blogs and social media influence traditional news media; how rural media landscape differs from that in the cities; how hacker BarCamps differ between places and cultures. She talked about the knowledge gap between technologists and NGOs, and the importance of information sharing to organizations in preventing effort duplication.
Then she talked about Local Intervention Group’s Open Government pilot project in Kavre.
Responding to Sazal’s question about issues in quality of crowdsourced data, Anahi cited BBC’s data verification toolkit. She also told us about a couple of verification toolkits she developed. She pointed out how crowdsourced data during a natural disaster is less likely to be false than it is during a political emergency.
In answer to another question by Amrit regarding change in the role of professional journalists with the rise of citizen journalism, she highlighted the role of professional journalists as curators of citizen journalism.