2015 has been a year of many changes at Small World News, beginning with the decision to hire longtime collaborator John Smock as Interim Director. Over the past year, we’ve seen that decision bear fruit in many ways. As a team, we started this year with some big goals: We reworked StoryMaker. We developed several new guides and resources. We did a comprehensive redesign of our site to better promote our existing materials and core competencies. And, we worked on several cool projects with partners active in places like Cuba, Libya and Iran.
2015 was a very productive year for Small World News. Under John’s guidance we’ve launched a redesigned site. The site features regular blog posts aimed at better engaging the community of activists, journalists and media trainers was a core theme. Our posts have profiled fellow trainers, shared news about our work, our colleagues, and provided a platform to better share our experience..
In the past year we’ve produced seven new learning tools, from the massive Persian localization of our StoryMaker Introduction Series, to the Mobile Photo Basics course, and a curriculum for a one-day Mobile Video Workshop, as well as a rethinking of our guides on producing individual stories for audio, photo and video. These guides complement work from the previous year, including our Social-First journalism guide, the Kirundi-localization of our Introduction Series, and radio scripts for training citizens to help them collaborate with professional journalists -- even with phones that have only basic SMS and voice capability .
This has been a hard year for journalists, including our colleagues in Morocco. Although their trial has been postponed, it has not been cancelled as we’d hoped. In addition to our colleagues, citizen journalists and activists continue to be targeted by governments around the world. In 2016 we aim to continue supporting journalists around the world to learn the skills they need to act ethically and responsibly, and resist media suppression.
As we close out the year we’ll be hard at work prepping the new learning modules and finalizing a big update to StoryMaker 2. This work will result in the release of StoryMaker 2 out of beta.
With all the work we have ahead of us, this will be our last post for the year. We’ll be back in January and are looking forward to announce not only the forthcoming release of StoryMaker 2, but other exciting new developments as well.