The Grand Signal

A digital magazine covering the intersection of technology, human rights and social change.

Citizen Journalism for the trenches? There’s an app for that.

Sproul Plaza on election night. Photo: Quinn Dombrowski

Much has been made of the “social media activism” that has been a stable of modern political movements since the Arab spring. While connectivity has allowed grassroots movement to adequately communicate and connect, it has also opened the door for a lot of haphazard “Journalism” polluting the airwaves and otherwise dulling the movement. Unsecure networks have also allowed corrupt governments to either blur lines of communication or intercept them.

Enter StoryMaker.

Launched by Free Press Unlimited, through collaboration with multiple organizations, the StoryMaker team aimed “to create an app that enables anyone to make and share compelling, real life stories.” It offers aspiring citizen journalists an open-source platform which offers interactive training, walkthroughs and secure channels to publish and broadcast their stories as they happen. The app isn’t simply focused on distribution, it’s meant to push better storytelling and packaging. One of the biggest complaints of citizen journalism has been the amateur publication quality, often making it unreadable or compelling. StoryMaker aims to change that by offering rudimentary tools and graphics to take a conceptual story and turn it into a fully packaged publication.

StoryMaker is available on Android.

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