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Mobile Donations to Haiti Relief, Without Mobile Fees

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, January 13 2010

Given the situation in Haiti, we asked our go to mobile expert, Katrin Verclas of MobileActive to clear up some of the confusion about whether mobile donations meet towards Haiti relief are being reduced by mobile fees. SMS donations to the Red Cross, she reports, are being passed through without any carrier fees or processing fees, with the Mobile Giving Foundation and MGive (operated by Mobile Accord, a company working with the State Department on its mobile program) are handling the transaction (and declining to take a cut). Texting HAITI to 90999 sends ten U.S. dollars to the Red Cross.

Making contributions via your cell phone is convenient, but you can also, of course, give directly through the Red Cross website or by calling the Red Cross at 1-800-REDCROSS. It seems like all donations, mobile or otherwise, will go into the Red Cross's generic funding pool, to be allocated where they see the most need.

Wyclef Jean's Yele Haiti foundation is fundraising online, and pledging 100% of the funds raised to relief efforts. And the State Department is tweeting the situation in Haiti.

UPDATE: Also worth mentioning is the online fundraising being done Partners in Health, the organization led by Dr. Paul Farmer that has been working to improve lives and public health throughout Haiti for many years now. (Pick up Tracy Kidder's Mountains Beyond Mountains for a look at the work that PIH does, and how it does it.)

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New Media Sites in Iran Blur Lines Between Citizen Journo, Professional Journo, & Activist

In 2010, Newsweek declared Iran the “birthplace of citizen journalism.” Iranian bloggers were hailed by Westerners as “brave” for their coverage of the aftermath of the disputed 2009 election. A 40-second video of the death of Neda Agha-Soltan during an anti-government protest won a prestigious George Polk Award, the first anonymously-produced work to be so honored. And then came the 2013 study “Whither Blogestan,” which sought to explain Iran's shrinking blogosphere. Of nearly 25,000 highly active and connected blogs in 2008 and 2009, only 20 percent were still online in September 2013.

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