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 to make and share better stories, 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.”
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, Scal.io, 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.
*This post edited to add StoryMaker Coalition text and quote from Free Press Unlimited.