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Innovative SMS-driven news project takes place in Afghanistan

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In Afghanistan, a documentary media company and an independent news agency have teamed up to integrate mobile phones and SMS into news reports. From election-day text messages to stories of homemade airplanes, they're demonstrating how a willingness to adapt mobile platforms to the landscape can contribute to a successful intersection of technology and media.

Small World News is a documentary and new media company that provides tools to journalists and citizens around the world to tell stories about their lives. Pajhwok Afghan News is an independent news agency headquartered in Kabul with eight regional bureaus and a nationwide network of reporters delivering stories in Dari, Pashto, and English. Together, the two launched Alive in Afghanistan, a website originally meant to showcase reports from the 2009 election in Afghanistan.

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This article first appeared in PBS's MediaShift's Idea Lab. Idea Lab is a group weblog by innovators who are reinventing community news for the Digital Age. Each author won a grant in the Knight News Challenge to help fund a startup idea or to blog on a topic related to reshaping community news.