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How Crowdsourcing Will Reshape Journalism In The Middle East

18 Days in Egypt -- an interactive documentary -- enables viewers to experience a revolution through content captured by thousands of protestors.

Plus Aziz
Plus Aziz on February 3, 2012. @plusaziz

18 Days in Egypt is an interactive documentary that looks at the recent revolution through thousands of perspectives.

This richly diverse and fragmented content is powered by Groupstream, a platform concepted and built by Jigar Mehta and Yasmin Elayat. It provides viewers with an immersive documentary where the storyteller is the collective of protestors. The title references the fact that it took 18 days to overthrow the previous regime and that thousands of protestors documented the events with their mobile devices.

18 Days in Egypt | Call to Action – Subtitled from 18DaysInEgypt Team on Vimeo.

In an Skype interview we conducted with Yasmin Elayat, she explains what Groupstream’s purpose was and asserts that the biggest area of innovation in Egypt will be driven by citizen journalism and the need for more freedom in the press:

Newspapers in Egypt will have to be bolder as social media becomes the place to discuss politics. These tools enable clearer communication, while newspapers will continue to face pressure from governmental and military institutions. The most relevant content is crowd generated because it’s really the best way to get an accurate picture of what’s happening on the ground. Through Groupstream, we built a group-storytelling platform that can apply to any story or event.

Their Kickstarter campaign is geared towards the development of a training/fellowship program where university students are trained and spread across Egypt to gather stories from areas that are under-reported, such as second-tier cities and governorates with low net penetration. Support 18 Days in Egypt on Kickstarter.

For live updates on this story, search #18DaysInEgypt on Twitter.

Groupstream

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