Free, secure, open: DW Akademie releases new software Colmena for local media | Press | DW

Colmena works like a digital newsroom and was developed in close collaboration with 23 community radio stations and media organizations in 13 countries across Africa and Latin America.

From Thursday, April 28, 2022, the Colmena software will be available to interested local and community media. DW Akademie and REDES AC will present the tool as part of a panel discussion in Berlin. The software was developed as part of the joint global initiative of DW Akademie and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development “Transparency and Media Freedom – Crisis Resilience in the Pandemic”.

Strengthening local media and their communities

Natascha Schwanke, Head of Media Development, DW Akademie: “In times of crisis, reliable information can save lives. Local media makes a big contribution by overcoming distance and language barriers. They know what their communities need because they are a part of them. Colmena allows them to continue their work in difficult circumstances. It empowers local media so they can empower their communities, be it during the crisis or beyond.”

Erick Huerta Velázquez, Principal Coordinator, REDES AC: “Until now it has not been possible for community media and networks to have their own digital infrastructure like Colmena. The software is not an external offer, but a joint solution with local media, adapted to their needs. We see enthusiasm for the project and a willingness to embrace this new technology.”

The Mexican NGO REDES AC supports civil society projects such as indigenous community media, which will also benefit from Colmena.

Digital toolbox for recording, editing and broadcasting

Colmena is a digital toolbox that enables local and community media to record, edit and distribute their stories via mobile phones and the mobile web, for example. Each feature enables collaboration like in an editorial office. The free software was developed for various end devices, works offline, is secure and free of charge. Colmena is currently available in six languages: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic and Kiswahili.

Press contact:
Vera Tellmann, Head of Corporate Communications / [email protected] / T +49.228.429.2531

Event with panel discussion

On the occasion of Colmena’s release, DW Akademie is presenting a panel discussion:

“Celebrating Colmena – Crisis-proof reporting for local media with new open source software”

International experts, journalists and community reporters discuss the role of local media in times of crisis, access to information and digital rights, especially for the rural population. As a digital solution, how can Colmena make a difference when it comes to informing communities?

When: Thursday, April 28, 2022 at 18:00 CEST

From where: Participation is possible via Zoom

Please register here by April 25, 2022. The zoom link to participate will be sent on April 27.

The panel discussion will be held in English with simultaneous translation into Spanish, French and German and will be moderated by DW journalist Mirjam Gehrke.

DW Akademie hosts a panel discussion on the release of Colmena

The panellists:

  • Michelle NogalesBolivia – CEO and co-founder of Muy Waso, the first digital feminist culture and entertainment magazine
  • Gladys KinyuaKenya – Journalist and presenter at the public radio station Radio Amani, Nakuru County
  • Natasha SchwankeGermany – Head of Media Development, DW Akademie
  • Geraldine de BastionGermany – Founder of the Global Innovation Gathering (GIG) and digital rights activist

We are happy to arrange interviews with the panelists on the sidelines of the event in the premises of the community broadcaster Alex Berlin, Rudolfstraße 1-8 (entrance: Ehrenbergstraße), 10245 Berlin. You can find more information at DW Akademie.

Graphics |  Register the DW Akademie event now

Sneak Peek Sessions: Discover Colmena!

On Friday, April 29, 2022, you can take a first look at the new open source software with the designers.

Sign up for the sneak peek sessions on Zoom here:

11:00 CEST (French), 13:00 CEST (English), 15:00 CEST (Spanish)

DW Akademie is Deutsche Welle’s center for international media development, journalistic training and knowledge transfer. Our projects strengthen the human right to freedom of expression and unhindered access to information. DW Akademie empowers people around the world to make independent decisions based on reliable facts and constructive dialogue. DW Akademie is a strategic partner of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. We are active in around 60 developing and emerging countries.

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