StoryMaker is a tool that helps journalists, citizen journalists, activists and bloggers to create stories and share them as securely as possible. At this edtion of Open Development Camp Mohammed Al-Maskati, StoryMaker trainer, human rights defender and digital security expert discusses the importance of digital security tools like StoryMake and the human rights situation in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Iraq, where StoryMaker is being implemented.
In a short conversation project officer Bethel Tsegaye introduces StoryMaker to our social reporter Petra Kroon. ‘We hope to bridge the gap between traditional journalists and citizen journalists.’
‘StoryMaker is a very succesfull tool, I would say. Our app has been downloaded more than 50.000 times already. And through our app more than 4000 posts: stories and smaller clips, have been published. But that is only through our app. Our users are free to publish their stories anywhere they want, they are not obliged to post them via StoryMaker.’
A tool to create good quality stories on smartphones
‘We train people who are passionate about storytelling to give a voice to the unheard. We give them a tool to create good quality stories on their mobile phones, although not all of them are professional journalists. We train them on the basics of journalism, digital security, photography, video, audio and storytelling.’
‘We learn our citizen journalists and bloggers to penetrate mainstream media by giving them the opportunity to publish in local media, who are our partner. We hope to bridge the gap between traditional journalists and citizen journalists.’
Bribing students in political action
‘A great example of what we, or actually one of our citizen journalists has achieved, is the story of students who were bribed by the General Union of Moroccan Workers (UTGM) to march in their protest held on International Working Day in exchange for food, money and funds for transport. According to the students they traveled all the way from Rabat and took part in the protest only to receive nothing but a sandwich from UTGM. The video brings to light an ongoing issue of illegal workings of organizations who bribe Moroccan youth to take part in political manifestations that have nothing to do with youth rights. Only minutes after the participant posted the video anonymously, it went viral with over 40,000 views on Youtube and online websites. It also spark critical discussion on an ongoing issue in the country.’