Kubatana: Freedom of speech with two-way SMS

Kubatana use SMS for news updates

Kubatana is a human rights NGO working in Zimbabwe, a country where the vast majority of mainstream media is strictly state-controlled. Two-way SMS has been successfully deployed to provide subscribers with reliable and unbiased news that may not be freely available otherwise.

During periods such as national elections, many citizens feel uncomfortable being seen reading independent newspapers or watching restricted videos, as this is construed as support for opposing political parties. The high price of personal Internet access has placed it out of reach to many Zimbabweans. Kubatana's subscribers feel safer accessing information privately via their mobile phones.

By setting up two-way SMS, Kubatana is also able to crowdsource opinions from its subscribers' response messages. On several occasions, the Kubatana system has been the first channel to break important local news and its SMS subscriber list has grown to over 42 000 members, primarily through word of mouth. Kubatana has become a trusted and valuable source of information to the people of Zimbabwe and two-way SMS has transformed this information outlet into an interactive community. Clickatell's Two-Way Messaging and SMS Short Codes make it possible for your target audience to reply to your messages.

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