This is the first in a series of profiles intended to showcase the trainers who work with Small World News and StoryMaker. We are very proud of our network of local trainers and want to share their stories with the global community of mobile media activists and educators.

Name: Privilege Musvanhiri

Country: Zimbabwe

Professional Experience:  Privilege is a 36-year-old professional journalist with more than 10 years experience working in Zimbabwe. He has worked for local newspapers and the national broadcaster Zimbabwe Broadcast Corporation. He received training in online and multimedia journalism in Berlin, German, which sparked his interest in emerging technologies.

He worked full-time as online editor for a newspaper The Zimbabwe Mail, which is now closed. Since 2008 Privilege has worked as a freelance journalist stringing for German radio and TV. He is currently consulting as the lead trainer for the mobile storytelling project Mobile Community Zimbabwe. In addition to Zimbabwe, he has worked as a StoryMaker trainer in Burundi, Kenya, and Zambia.

How did you get into media training?

In 2013, I had an opportunity to be trained and work as a StoryMaker trainer in Zambia for the mobile storytelling project, Mobile Community Zimbabwe. Brian Conley from Small World News conducted the training. This contact led to more opportunities, and I have since developed a strong interest in media training, in particular mobile storytelling tools.

Why do you think media training is important for your country, regionally, globally?

Ongoing media training has become essential. New media is ever evolving and this calls for today’s journalist to stay abreast of basic technologies used in the industry. It is essential that journalists around the world constantly work to update their skills and learn new things.

In response to new technologies traditional ideas about journalism are constantly being challenged. Practitioners cannot afford to distance themselves from these developments. To quote New York Times correspondent, Ron Dixon, journalism has changed; we are now speaking with people not to people because of new technologies such as social media.

The advent of mobile storytelling tools such as StoryMaker has enabled citizens to play an active role in the chain of communication, but it can only be effective if people are trained to use the technology.

In Zimbabwe Media training is essential to fill in the existing skills deficiency in newsrooms. Most journalists learned the basics in school but lack professional training in new media skills and technology. Media training institutions are still using old curricula that are no longer applicable to the modern day setting.

What was an experience that illustrates why training is important to you?

The greatest moment was when one of my trainees was listed in the top four for the 2015 Mojocon & Thomson Foundation Mobile Journalism Award even though in the end he did not win. I am quite thrilled to equip citizens with tools that enable them to tell alternative stories to the common narratives that appear in the mainstream media.

Tell us one thing you would like to share with people who might be interested in media development but have no experience.

Training, keen interest in learning and experimenting with new technologies is key in today’s media development. ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) have opened a huge window of opportunity to learn new media technologies.

Tell us about Mobile Community Zimbabwe.

Mobile Community Zimbabwe (MCZ) is a project that gives young Zimbabweans a voice and a platform to share and exchange information through mobile phone technology and social media. 

Using the StoryMaker application, the project builds the capacity of participants to use high technology devices and applications that enable the development and editing of short mobile videos, audio and picture stories.

Since its inception in 2013, the project has trained more than 100 participants from different parts of the country. The participants have managed to report varied topics from their communities ranging from economy, human rights and social issues.

The project has managed to cover stories that are not normally covered by mainstream media but are of importance to a community.