The Martís are tapping user-generated content to strengthen news coverage across the island. As Cubans have growing access to mobile technology the Martís are benefiting from their increased media engagement.
With the Cuban state-run media unable or unwilling to report on events around the island, the Martís have established themselves as a reliable source of local news.
As news happens, eyewitnesses are increasingly sending photos, videos and text messages directly to the Miami-based broadcaster. The Martís verify the sources and information as well as screen the material and curate social media for related information, before producing stories for Radio and Television Martí and martinoticias.com. Seeing and hearing their content empowers these island-based citizen reporters to continue to capture and share information on what is happening in their own communities.
A byproduct of this growing engagement on local breaking news, will be a new program “Reporta Cuba,” hosted on martinoticias.com where these users-citizen journalists will be an integral part of the Martís’ country-wide network of correspondents and where interested users can obtain tutorials on how to send images via SMS, email and other paths.
Some recent eyewitness accounts include:
Neighbors capture images of repression in Santa Clara, Cuba. Activists from the Anti-Totalitarian United Forum (FANTU) were detained on April 21 as they marched for the right to liberty of movement, association and expression.
Deadly fire in Guantanamo claims the lives of two children and leaves many homeless. According to the eyewitness account, the firemen were young, untrained men from military service with limited water to fight a fire this size.
The other face of Old Havana. Two citizen reporters captured images of the crumbling infrastructure side of the old section of Havana that tourists to the area never see. Balconies hang precariously over sidewalks and many buildings are in danger of collapsing.