Screen platform nears beta launch, aims to expand the audience for quality journalism

Since winning the 2012 We Media PitchIt! Challenge back in April, Screen, the forthcoming new platform for collaborative editing and production of visual storytelling projects, is now just a few weeks away from launching its beta.

The win allowed us to arrive at the beta stage without compromising much on the features that we wanted to include in the first version. Also, winning We Media has been especially significant for us as this was the first time in our project’s life (while it was being conceived, redeveloped and reincarnated) that it’s been recognized by an outside community of internet entrepreneurs.

This gives us confidence that we can succeed in what Screen is trying to achieve – find new audiences for visual journalism and engage regular citizens in important social issues through storytelling.

All of us, co-founders of Screen – Liza Faktor of Objective Reality, Ivan Sigal of Global Voices Online, James Wellford of Newsweek, Bjarke Myrthu of Storyplanet and Frank Kalero of Ojode Pez – come from slightly different backgrounds and have been working inside the media market for years.

We are fascinated by many things in the new digital reality, among them:

  • How to significantly enlarge the audience for quality journalism.
  • How to improve distribution and facilitate production of great stories and groundbreaking visual work.
  • How to build communities around content.
  • How to connect the consumer/citizen and multimedia journalist directly with each other.

One of the answers is to make all parties realize the importance of in-depth documentation and having a dialogue around it. That’s why training is a huge part of our platform. I guess we’ll see about the other answers to our search in the months after we launch.

It’s important to realize that Screen is not only a website or an app. We are producing and screening real work in the real world.

Last month we held our first event in Moscow in co-production with Objective Reality Foundation – Projections of Reality. Focusing on multimedia journalism, production and distribution, the program featured lectures by internationally acclaimed multimedia producers and photojournalists: Claudine Boeglin of Thomson Reuters Foundation, Adrian Kelterborn of Magnum In Motion, photojournalists Olga Kravets, Oleg Klimov and Marcus Yam of The New York Times and three of Screen’s co-founders: Bjarke Myrthu, Ivan Sigal and Liza Faktor (me).

The program also included a 3-day multimedia workshop with 14 participants taught by Boeglin, Kelterborn and Anna Zekria of Salt Images. The masters will follow up on the participants’ work online as soon as the Screen website goes live. So this will be our first online training activity to look forward to!

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