film production + social action

ALIVE in Baghdad/Libya/Iraq/Egypt

by: @ChristieM

While getting my daily dose of Mashable this morning, I learned about a freelance journalist’s use of Kickstarter to help her raise funds to support her stay in Libya to continue reporting on the stories of the revolution on the ground.

Zach Sneiderman, the post’s author, wrote that this journalist has partnered with Small World News, a new media company that helps train and provide tools to citizen journalists, and she is now spending 10 hours every week training Libyans on how to find, film and report their own stories.

So I decided to check out SmallWorldNews.TV. Having lived the last month in an LA to NYC transition, I may have missed a lot in the “tech for change” news. But in case you missed it too, this is a site worth checking out.

SmallWorldNews helps train citizen journalists in Libya, Egypt, Iraq and Bahrain to cover events their from the ground and through their eyes. What originally started as a Speak2Tweet service (years before Speak2Tweet launched), posting the voice recordings and videos from people in Iraq and Iran, has recently expanded to Libya and Egypt. Working with volunteer translators to add English subtitles when possible, SmallWorldNews then posts videos submitted from citizen journalists onto their site for anyone to view. Giving the entire world access to what the revolution looks like on the ground, not just on CNN.

While we in the U.S. just have to deal with the extreme biases of FOX and MSNBC, millions of people around the world are getting their news information from limited, government controlled and censored media outlets. While I doubt that every Libyan is tuned into SmallWorldNews every day, I think that the efforts of this organization will have a much larger impact in the long run. These revolutions will eventually pass and new governments will be constructed, and people will feel empowered to keep a close eye on their new government and keep their people informed. And the rest of us around the world are benefitting, as we will have more options for consuming unfiltered news!

Check out their current projects below. P.S. I’m really interested in the use of mobile phones for citizen journalist report dissemination. If anyone out there has heard of any organizations working on this, please message me on Twitter!






This post is a part of a weekly series entitled “Online Technology and Social Change,” inspired by Righteous Pictures’ upcoming documentary, “Web.”