Innovation for Dialogue: Creative Experiences to Encourage Participation | Publications | DW Akademie | DW | 29.11.2023
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Innovation for Dialogue: Creative Experiences to Encourage Participation

Four projects in Latin America invite you to explore experimental, collaborative and participatory communication and media development methodologies.

"Today, it is not enough to have an unbiased media and well-trained journalists to overcome challenges that the digital revolution has pushed to previously unsuspected limits. The public is increasingly protagonist in the creation of content, as well as its flows, and traditional media, whether print, radio or television, while still relevant, are not the only channels through which the population is informed of what is happening both globally and locally. That is why it is important to initiate innovation processes which invite citizens to participate in the media, as well as to create or reinvent the channels of communication." With these words, Rodrigo Villarzú, DW Akademie's director for Latin America and the Caribbean, emphasizes the need for training.

Debates today on the most relevant public issues occur mainly online. This presents opportunities but also challenges, such as disinformation and propaganda, idea polarization of ideas and information bubbles. This leads to a shrinking of the public sphere, especially in Global South. In Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, people face barriers to participating in global debates on an equal footing due to the lack of equipment or Internet access, limited technologies in native languages or the lack of digital skills.

Innovation for Dialogue, or I4D, is an essential tool in overcoming these challenges and improving training and communication. However, DW Akademie, like its partner organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean, is aware that it would be a mistake to design strategies based exclusively on digital technologies in these regions, since most of the projects take place in rural areas or in suburban neighborhoods. Therefore, following I4D framework in the region, we aimed to combine traditional media - especially community radio because of its penetration power - with newer digital information and communication technologies.

This guide compiles and systematizes four of these training and content production proposals developed by DW Akademie together with some of its Latin American partners:

  • Hackatón #ConectaCulturas, together with the Coordinadora de Medios Comunitarios Populares y Educativos del Ecuador (CORAPE).
  • Reporteratón, in collaboration with Asociación de Radiodifusión Comunitaria Vokaribe in Barranquilla, Colombia.
  • Colaboratorio, with the Centro de Producciones Radiofónicas (CEPRA) in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
  • Cabinas Espaciales, with Radio Sónica, belonging to the Asociación de Servicios Culturales y Educativos (ASEC) in Guatemala.

At a time when commerce is driving information ecosystem innovation, these innovative participation strategies that improve public dialogue are a view from the territories, spaces where the best conditions of access and infrastructure are not always available and where creative solutions are necessary.

Learn more in this new publication (download below), which is part of the "The Power of Voice. Community Media in Latin America" series. Enjoy!