Digital South: Principles for Using Digital Technologies to Foster the Freedom of Expression


A re:publica event

In many developing and emerging countries, a lively NGO and technology scene has developed in recent years that relies on the Internet to fight for greater freedom of expression and access to information in the global South. But what is genuinely effective? And what can be learned – in the North too – from practical experiences in countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Argentina, Guatemala, Egypt, Palestine and Kenya? The DW Akademie, Deutsche Welle’s media-development centre, organised the “South2South” media dialogue to this end in late 2014 in Cape Town. Media experts and digital activists from 14 different countries presented both preliminary and well-developed principles for the innovative use of digital technologies. They all had one thing in common: the conviction that even in the lands of the South, the Internet and new technologies represent an opportunity to break through ossified media systems and strengthen the freedom of opinion in their countries. Participants’ expertise ranged from crowdsourcing, investigative-research methods, and hyper-local journalism to data visualisation and open-data projects. At the end of the intensive exchange a joint “manifesto” emerged that described seven basic principles for the successful implementation of new ideas: strategy, integration, sustainability, openness, data for the public interest, participation, and skills sharing.
As a part of the re:publica 2015 session, authors of the “South2South” manifesto will present their ideas for discussion.


Penhleak (Pinkie) Chan, Managing Editor, Open Development Cambodia (ODC)

Dickens Olewe, Journalism Pioneer

Alejandra Gutiérrez Valdizán, Editor-in-Chief, Plaza Pública, Guatemala

Guy Degen, Freelance Journalist