Author: Brian ConeyPhotographer: John Smock

The Germa or Garama people lived in the Fezzan region of southern Libya starting from approximately 3000 years ago. The Germa News Agency, based in Sebha, takes its name from this ancient civilization. I am currently in Sebha, Libya, with my co-trainers, John Smock and Mohamed Nasri.

Germa, launched by IWPR this spring, has so far focused primarily on print reporting. We are here to train the news agency to use StoryMaker as their primary method for multimedia reporting. They’ll be documenting issues across the Fezzan, a 200,000 square mile region covering the south of Libya.

With StoryMaker, Germa will be able to leapfrog into the 21st century, seeing a large return with a minimal investment in equipment. At a cost of approximately $1500/kit, the agency will be able to produce photo video and audio reports and file the from their Galaxy Camera. In a city still facing regular power cuts, keeping all production mobile, with low power consumption, is a necessity.

After a few days we’re already seeing interesting stories arise, produced by these ingenious reporters, some of the only journalists for a thousand miles in any direction. Stay tuned as the first stories get finalized, including an investigation into difficulties facing an aging medical clinic, while brand new equipment rots in a nearby warehouse.

The kit, costing approximately $1500, includes a Galaxy Camera and Galaxy S4 Zoom, as well as an assortment of microphone equipment and stands. Combined with our free software, StoryMaker, it's an excellent kit to produce photo, video, and radio stories. We hope this technology from the 21st century will help these young reporters do justice to their news agency's ancestral namesake from three thousand years ago.

Check out the kit below, we’ll follow up with complete details and a full review of the kit at the end of our workshop.

Sebha Equipment
Sebha Equipment

Pro StoryMaker Kit