jude | MIT Center for Civic Media

Recent blog posts by jude

Kenyan Media Blackout

It was not until I checked my twitter feed that I realised a raging debate on the self imposed media blackout under the hash tag #mediablackoutke. Several local journalists wrote tweets to protest a ruling made in Kenya’s high court on digital migration. The judge had earlier dismissed the petition by the three leading media houses to delay the migration. In his ruling, he says that the deadline date was obtained through consensus since the three players were also part of the process.  Digital migration refers to the movement of broadcast transmission from analogue signals to digital signals. As per the ITU conference different member countries had to set up deadlines by which they would have the switch over.  It is important to note that Kenya became the second country to switch over to digital television broadcasting in the year 2009.  The deadline to completely cut off the analogue signal in Kenya has been a game of chess since. Every other party trying to checkmate each other.

Callback.io: Community Radio Participation

Callback.io: Breaking community participation barriers facing community radio



Radio Amani based in Nakuru,Kenya is a community based radio station. Nakuru was one of the towns mostly affected by the post election crisis in 2008. Being the capital of a region that is not only diverse but the agricultural capital of the country, this town if fundamental in the development of the entire country.

Platforms and Affordances: From Pamphleteers to Peer to Peer

James Carey[1] illustrates the importance of the telegraph and how the telegraph does set the base for future development within the communication realm. He shows how the telegraph was the only device to separate transport and communication in the past. Before the invention of the telegraph, the main way messages were passed across was through movement from one place to the other.

He asserts that the telegraph was the brain and would help in the expansion of the empire. Though it was masked in religious undertones, that is that it would harmonize and unite all of humanity, it was also an ideological mask for its real function. Its real function was the expansion of global military hegemony and neoliberalism. This is very similar to today’s context where the internet is viewed as the medium through which the world will become a global village.

Civic Media for Dummies?

I am currently a research assistant at the Center for Civic Media. Being a foreigner to both MIT and the country in general, it has been a great learning experience. Prior to joining the lab, I worked at the Nation, the leading media house based in Kenya, developing tools to tell stories differently. Part of this experience was also working with activists in Liberia developing tools to help them tell their stories through multimedia. Before the chance to work with journalists came along, I was working for an international agency building tools to help countries become more resilient to disasters. My current interests lie in new ways of engaging citizens leading to specific actions for the common good.