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[liberationtech] Announcing the launch of StoryMaker 2!

Brian Conley brianc at
Thu Jan 28 21:38:30 PST 2016

Hello all,

Some of you may be aware of the StoryMaker application, I'm sure many of
you are not. StoryMaker is a tool to help aspiring journalists and
activists create compelling stories with only a mobile device. Small World
News began development of the application in 2012, in collaboration with
the Guardian Project.

In addition to providing an introductory curriculum in mobile journalism,
and templates for storytelling, StoryMaker allows users to publish stories
to YouTube, Flickr, Facebook and Soundcloud, as well as private SSH servers
over Tor. The latest version of StoryMaker includes a pin-lock and app
hiding functionality. StoryMaker allows users to create and edit their
stories without relying on the cloud. Once templates have been downloaded
they can be used completely offline.

You can read our entire announcement below:

We are proud to announce the release of StoryMaker version 2.0 out of Beta!

Get it today: Download StoryMaker 2

It has been just over a year since the generous support of StoryMaker
Coalition member Free Press Unlimited enabled us to rethink the interface
and core functionality of the app in the fall of 2014. StoryMaker was
originally imagined as a tool to help anyone learn tomake and share better
with or without internet access. The ongoing support of Free Press
Unlimited enables us to release StoryMaker 2.0 today out of beta. The
coordinator of Free Press Unlimited's work on StoryMaker, Bethel Tsegaye,
had this to say, "We have seen citizen reporters go from amateur storytellers
to professional journalists, making professional quality stories. The app
enables  journalist to report on issues as they happen. With StoryMaker,
people realize even more how powerful their smartphones are in getting
voices heard."

The final release out of beta comes with the inclusion of a Catalog of new
content packs. These content packs are separated into three categories:
 Lessons, Guides, and Templates. StoryMaker Product Manager Steve
Wyshywaniuk explains the release of StoryMaker 2.0 this way, “StoryMaker 2
is a step forward for media training. We now have our entire curriculum
localized for Persian
<>and Kirundi
speakers, as well as the original Arabic curriculum. The ability for users
to learn a new concept and practice immediately with an activity will help
people learn much faster.”
In this video, Steve demonstrates some of the key features newly available
in StoryMaker 2.0.

The release of StoryMaker 2 coincides with the fifth anniversary of the
Egyptian government’s decision to disconnect the internet, virtually
cutting off the rest of the world. Applications which depended on the
internet to create and share content, or learn new skills could not
function. One of our initial goals was to create a tool that anyone could
use to learn and create their own stories, regardless of connectivity. We’ll
soon be deploying StoryMaker 2 to Cuba
<>, where internet
connectivity is virtually nonexistent. The ability to load content packs
from a computer will be key to helping users who are largely offline and
receive software largely by manual, offline distribution.

Brian Conley, head of training and curriculum at Small World News expressed
his excitement at finally releasing the powerful new catalog to the public,
“Ever since we tested the theory of putting our training exercises directly
into StoryMaker
<>, with
step-by-step guidance, I’ve been excited to get our guides into the hands
of users. This year I’m looking forward to building on our new guides,*Mobile
Photo Basics* and *Learn to Make Better Video*, and releasing a lot more.”

The StoryMaker Coalition is a collaboration between Small World News,, The Guardian Project and Free Press Unlimited to develop and
implement theStoryMaker application. The Coalition has trained more than
700 journalists, human rights defenders, and aidworkers working in more
than 20 countries. At the time of writing, the StoryMaker app has been
downloaded by more than 140,000 users around the world, including
journalists, civil society members, and activists.

Original post:

Brian Conley

Co-founder, Small World News

m: 646.285.2046

Skype: brianjoelconley
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