COVID-19 pandemic catalyzes rapid acceleration in the adoption of digital products and tools
Last month, when h2n started to produce the live streams from MISAU’s daily press conferences, organize the Zoom forum for participating journalists and provide the television images used by TV stations, it was but one step in the rapid adoption of digital products and tools at h2n, Midia Lab and TV Surdo. These moves to apply social distancing to the MISAU press conferences resulted in a record 232,000 people viewing on May 25, with 32,900 reacting and 1,200 commenting on that day’s live feed. At the same time, Mana Clara Sadia, project manager at h2n, who is based in Pemba, was interacting online with community radio stations in Cabo Delgado province, where the security situation has made travel difficult. “We work on accountability, transparency and investigative journalism in the province, and these are issues that we can discuss online to a large extent,” says Mana Clara, who currently works with seven radios in the province. During the month of May, h2n expanded the reach of the Xipalapala Info daily podcast, which is circulated by radio and social media and now has 700 daily subscribers, including some 50 community radios. “We are happy that the Xipalapala Info newscast is growing in popularity, but we were quite surprised when radios started translating it into their own languages,” says Leodemila Zacarias, who manages the podcast effort. “The main advantage of live streams and podcasts is that people can listen to them at their leisure, for example when they are riding in the chapa,” says Leodemila. On June 1, TV Surdo started distributing a video version of the podcast with sign language interpretation. Last month, h2n also initiated a podcast series based on the Saude & Video television program and started the development of 24 podcasts on tuberculosis for a long-term project implemented by ADPP. The podcasts are produced in different file formats to meet different needs. h2n, which is primarily supported by Norway, works extensively with community radios, produces community videos, broadcasts the “Saude e Vida” television program on health and wellness, facilitates youth engagement hubs and pursues a rapidly expanding gender equality agenda.