A bold step to bring migration-related issues to the public through journalists has led to the developing of an app on Migration called “MigStories App”. It was launched in Accra to help bring the migration stories that are untold into one app for easy access. Migration of citizens of all nations including Ghanaians across borders within Africa and into America, Europe, and Asia has come with both good stories and heartbreaking consequences and narrations.
Very often, those who suffer abuse, hash, and life-threatening conditions and even lose their lives are irregular migrants who go through unapproved routes through the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean Sea in the quest to reach Europe which is believed to be the hub of greener pastures. At the launch, 10 journalists who distinguished themselves through their migration related stories were honored.
The app was developed by Mr. Charles Nii Ayiku Ayiku who is a consultant, developer and a lecturer at the University of Professional Studies, Accra. The app is available on the Google play store. It is hoped that it will help uncover the untold migration stories and more.
The MigStories App which is a must-have by every owner and user of phones compatible with Apple IOS, Google’s Android, Research in Motion’s BlackBerry OS, Nokia’s Symbion, Hewlett-Packard’s WebOS and Microsoft’s Windows. The app is connected to the website www.ghanamigrationstories.org. This website and all migration-related stories can also be accessed via the app. The stories include local and African migration stories. Others are world migration related stories and personal stories shared by migrants.
MigStories App is also user-friendly, very easy to access and contains relevant information as well as interactive tools. Updates on migration information are timely and reliable as information keeps coming in, they are loaded onto the app to make them readily available to users.
Key Functions of the MigStories App
The app allows users and journalists to file reports as well as attached relevant multimedia files such as audio and videos to stories they want to share through the app.
Reporters can also use the app to write text stories. The app comes with a camera function that allows users or reporters to record videos and takes images straight into the app. The app further gives users and journalist the additional ability to edit their stories that might have been loaded onto the app.
Up-to-date information is shared on the app for users to access. The app is also linked to the IOM, FMM information portals
Migrants can also access up to date information that is also comprehensive just as government agencies like the Ghana Immigration service on the same this app.
These and many more benefits will be derived from the MigStories App leading to the provision of migrants with verified, accurate stories as it also provides counter trafficking hotlines.
Very often, migrants have stories to tell, journalists also have stories to share yet, there is no one powerful platform that provides the needed space online to communicate these stories and engage readers.
This and many reasons led to the development of the app MigStories App. The app was the results of the collaboration between partners on immigration-related issues of international interest. They include The Media Response, an NGO in collaboration with its partners, the Ghana News Agency (GNA), the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the Ghana Independence Broadcasters Association (GIBA), the Information Service Department (ISD). Others are the National Population Council (ECOWAS National Office) as well as donors such as the IOM Ghana Chief Mission, ECOWAS Commission, and the European Union.
This app is expected to help reach journalist and migrants to help locate and reach migrants on issues that affect them. It will also help improve our knowledge and the data collected on migration will help avoid the duplication of such stories.
Individual migrants can also be tracked for effective intervention and policymakers will better understand the extent of the mobility of migrants.
A visit to the app page on the google play store indicates the summary of the reasons for the app.
Due to the increasing demand for timely information on migration issues and the movement of persons within West Africa, frontline journalists in Ghana have found it difficult to report from the field on migration issues because of lack of a functional smartphone mobile application to facilitate reporting. Additional challenges for journalists reporting on migration issues from the field is the difficulty in sharing information among themselves and ability to reach a wider audience as well as access up-to-date information on investigative journalistic reporting on free movement and migration in Ghana.
In order to address these challenges this functional mobile application which is compatible with target mobile device operating systems such as Apple iOS, Research in Motion’s OS, Hewlett-Packard’s webOS (formerly Palm OS) and Phone OS and for users specifically in Ghana with the aim to assist journalists to facilitate reporting on migration issues from the field has been developed.