Citizen Journalists Report Sierra Leone Elections by SMS

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By: Sarah Marshall | journalism.co.uk

On Saturday Sierra Leone went to the polls. The story of the elections was covered by a group of newly-trained citizen journalists posting updates by SMS, most using basic ‘green screen’ Nokia mobile phones.

Those text reports, giving details such as the number of people waiting at a polling station, quotes from voters, and colour such as “no electricity at Femi Turner station Godrich as it is an unfinished building, NEC agents using lamps to count”, were sent for the price of a local text and received to a Gmail account in London, from where they were verified, curated and manually posted to Twitter.

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