We identify the most isolated groups in each society, often youth with disabilities, slum dwellers, rural women and girls and those from excluded castes.
We make contact with the local organisations who support these individuals and invite them to nominate up to three trainees.
We develop accessible training materials and learning plans to introduce the basics of principled reporting. Our focus is on micro-reporting via SMS.
The training gives us a chance to work directly with each reporter and find out the issues that matter to them. These relationships remain at the core of our work.
We encourage reporters to focus on both problems and innovation. We deliver specific training on election reporting, covering crisis and gender-sensitive journalism.
Each reporter is given a unique number to send mobile reports to Radar, for the price of a local text. It’s cheap, instant and accessible to all, including those with low literacy, disability or no access to the internet.
Radar runs a central hub from London. Using new software, each mobile report arrives as digital text, ready to be swiftly verified, edited and curated for broadcast across online media channels.
In this way, a news report from a remote village can be received, recorded and shared within minutes, without the need for local internet access.
Who We Are
Radar is a communication rights organisation run by a team of passionate journalists and development professionals.
We train and mentor networks of citizen reporters from some of the world’s most marginalised communities, and empower them to bring their news and perspectives into the public dialogue. We do this by structuring our reporting around one of the most affordable communication tools available – basic mobile phones.
Why We Exist
We believe that the best stories are told straight from the source.
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights protects the right of every individual or community to speak and be heard, but in practice, access to communication tools and the ability to influence the media agenda are often governed by a strict social and cultural hierarchy.
Radar aims to challenge stereotypes in the press, open up the flow of critical news and democratise access to the media, giving more people a chance to engage in meaningful dialogue.
How We Work
Radar’s technical framework is built around a web app combining an SMS gateway, an editorial panel and a micro-site, which together bridge the gap between mobile networks in the developing world, and global information flows on the world wide web.
In practice, a news alert sent via SMS from a village in India can be received in London, analysed and verified by our expert team, and shared online with influential audiences within minutes.
We also offer pro bono editorial support, and link trained reporters with digital storytellers, mappers, bloggers and journalists, to produce collaborative multimedia reports covering neglected news and fresh perspectives.
Radar also runs a third sector communications consultancy offering solutions to communication challenges, primarily in the developing world. (For more information on this, visit our projects page.)
What We’ve Achieved
Radar has rapidly established itself as the go-to place for authentic voices in the places that we work.
The work of our reporters has been featured on BBC World Service, The Guardian, Channel 4 News, Sky News, Huffington Post UK and the New Internationalist, as well as on many specialist blogs.
Throughout the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, Radar reporters were commissioned by a host of major international outlets to conduct interviews, file stories and submit radio reports about the crisis. The reporters documented the impact that the crisis had on their communities, and were able to gain un-rivalled access and break stories long before major news agencies, winning praise for their moving and impassioned storytelling.
Previously, Radar has been recognised by EU observation teams for highlighting barriers to access in African elections, worked with reporters in India to uncover instances of modern day slavery, and trained community activists in three African nations to report hidden local issues to their elected representatives.
In just two years of operation, we have supported over 300 reporters from marginalised communities to share news that has reached an audience in the hundreds of thousands.