Audio case studies

Online radio for international migrants

Project: Global audio campaign

Organisation: The December 18 campaign

Goal: To promote and protect the rights of migrants

Audience: Radio stations and their audiences, migrants, migrant’s rights organisations

Format: Website that supports podcasts (

Frequency: Annual

In 2006, The December 18 Campaign developed an audio campaign to celebrate International Migrants' Day. Nearly 50 radio stations from 27 countries participated, and over 40 programmes were gathered in languages as varied as Chinese, Baha, Spanish and Kazak. The campaign secured over 1700 visitors to the website on December 18 2006, and hundreds of audio files were played and downloaded from the site. This marathon has become an annual event. Radio marathon coordinator Myriam Horngren is convinced that audio is extremely useful for advocacy, especially on migration issues. 'There are many migrantand diaspora radio stations or shows around the world both online and offline,which shows that radio is definitely fulfilling a need.' she says. 'Most people in the world have access to radios (unlike television or the internet) and even in developed societies people listen to radios online while working, at home while doing other activities and in cars or other modes of transport. Also, most radios in the world communicate in the local language which means it's possible to reach a wide audience.'

In 2008 all kinds of radio stations, from community stations to commercial radios, from national and international broadcasters to online radios participated in the December 18 radio marathon promoting migrants' rights. A world map on the front page of the website displays all the participating organisations.


A simple ring tone startles the president

Project: Political message ring-tone

Organisation: unknown origin, viral

Goal: To highlight supposed evidence of vote-rigging

Audience: General but especially popular with web-savvy young people

Format: Ringtone made available free online

Frequency: One-off

In the Philippines, part of a conversation alleged to have taken place between the Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyoin 2004 become a hugely popular ring tone on mobile phones. The 'Hello Garci' ring tone started circulating online days after tapes of this supposed conversation about vote-rigging surfaced in the media. One internet site that offered the 'Hello Garci' tune crashed as Filipinos clamoured to download it. The 17-second greeting went to the top of the charts as people downloaded it onto their phones. The authorities barred the media from broadcasting any portion of the message, saying it was illegally made, doctored and part of a plot against the president. Even public transport drivers were warned not to adapt the ring tone to the horns of their vehicles. The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) offered the ringtone on their site but also invited their readers to send in their own re-mixes. They also provide the supposed full tape conversations, transcripts and links to in-depth analysis of what happened. (See this site about "Hello Garci" Ringtones)


Podcasts for farmers – Practical Action (Peru)

Podcasts for farmersProject: Podcasts for farmers

Organisation: Practical Action

Goal: To deliver targeted messages that will support the livelihoods of farmers

Audience: Farmers in Peru

Format: Multi-format for maximum reach: podcast, CDs, radio, local archives

Frequency: Usually weekly

In Peru digital audio distribution techniques have been used to deliver targeted messages to farmers in their local languages. It's free for users to subscribe to the service and automatically receive regular updates. To make each podcast more accessible to the wider farming community, local information centres with internet connections make audio CDs or copy the files onto digital audio players (DAPs), which enable farmers to listen at a time that's convenient. They are also able to rewind and replay the parts of the information they might at first not understand. The podcasts are also broadcast on radio, offering the opportunity for people with traditional receivers to hear the same information. It was this mix of old and new technologies that contributed largely to the success of this project. (Read this Local content in local voices article for more information)


Links & resources

AMARC or The World association of Community Radio Broadcasters is an international network of community radio members, with links to global campaigns and resources.

Indymedia consists of a network of individuals, independent and alternative media activists and organisations, offering grassroots, non-corporate, non-commercial coverage of important social and political issues.

Itrainonline provide a free collection of multimedia Training materials for audio producers from a range of communication NGOs.

One World Radio is a network of NGOs and community radios; for example, One World South Asia.

ICT Update is a bulletin published by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) about podcasts and their relevance to rural communities.

Pambazuka News is a pan-African weekly electronic newsletter that uses regular podcasts to complement its content.

To read a useful FLOSS manual about creating a podcast visit this website.

To find more information about creating your own mobile podcasts visit this website.