CAST: Proximity broadcasting as a mode of news distribution in rural Armenia

Cook, Clare Elizabeth orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5063-6013, Baudouin, Onno Piet Guy, Lochrie, Mark orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7909-8455 and Saidi, Armine (2018) CAST: Proximity broadcasting as a mode of news distribution in rural Armenia. Project Report. University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

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CAST (DisCovery Amplification Sustainability and InTeractions) has trialled a new community communication network in rural Armenia developing models to emerge alternative news media in a highly politically pressured national state. The project was
a collaboration between the Media Innovation Studio, UK, Impact Hub Yerevan and SMART Edge Platform provider WICASTR™, Yerevan. The project also ran with the support of the United Nations Development Programme, award-winning investigative journalism outlet Hetq, and Civilnet from the Civilitas Foundation. It was a three-phase year-long pilot that ran in 2016 and 2017, funded by the UK Higher Education Innovation Fund.
The aim was to:
Build a lightweight community connectivity system for content distribution
Generate proximity insights: new data analytics that allow publishers to pinpoint what content is consumed where
Facilitate novel approaches to digital literacy by creating engaged digital communities
New knowledge and impact have been created around:
How to build hyperlocal proximity networks using online to offline wifi technology
Future scoping information systems for remote communities
New hyperlocal news data analytics for publishers
Novel methods to add to media plurality in a highly politically pressured environment
Strategies to improve digital literacy and community communication that can challenge a digital divide

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