WADR receives prestigious Knight-Batten 2011 Award
The West Africa Democracy Radio (WADR), a trans-territorial, sub-regional broadcaster based in Dakar, has received a 2011 Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism at a ceremony held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
WADR shared the award with its long-time partner, Sourcefabric, a Czech NGO, that designed and built the radio’s website – the prize winner - which integrates several open source tools, including Newscoop CMS, Airtime radio software and the SoundCloud audio-distribution platform to publish reports in French and English online, on air and on social media.
WADR and four others, Storify, National Public Radio, Guardian Data and Bloomberg Government, were selected winners from 123 entries to receive the Knight-Batten Awards that honor creative use of new technologies to engage citizens in public issues and future newsgathering. The award is administered by J-Lab, a center of American University’s School of Communication.
Judy Brannon, Knight-Batten Awards chair, presented the award, while Katherine Weymouth, CEO of the Washington Post Media Group and publisher of the Washington Post delivered the keynote address and thanked the recipients for their contributions to the changing media world.
Addressing the ceremony earlier, WADR Station Manager Peter Kahler said the new tools developed by Sourcefabric have enabled WADR to transform its website into a news platform and triple its audience by providing the radio’s content on multiple outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud for deeper reach into the social media.
Kahler expressed gratitude to the organizers for the award and thanked the Open Society Foundation’s Africa Regional Office for a grant of nearly US$15,000.00 that partly funded the WADR new website project.
Sourcefabric also gave WADR a grant of about US$10,000.00 in professional services rendered by its staff that designed and built the website, as well as trained WADR staff to operate it.
WADR is a project of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) set up to protect and defend the ideals of democratic and open societies by disseminating development information through a network of community radios in the West African sub-region.
Today, the radio’s network comprises nearly 40 partner radios in eight West African countries and a chain of correspondents in ten countries in the region.
WADR broadcasts in French and English on FM in Dakar, via satellite on Astra 4A ton sub-Saharan Africa and streaming on its website www.wadr.org.Tweet