Mashallah: disOriented news
I heard about this project through a friend on the Mashallah team, and I found it very interesting. The launching of the website was on November 25, and you can check it out here: http://mashallahnews.com
I decided to blog about it and had a brief Q&A with them.
What is Mashallah news?
It’s a platform for social & cultural news from cities between Morocco and Iran where the expression “Mash’allah” is used. Articles are available in English, French and Arabic. Currently, we cover Casablanca, Cairo, Beirut, Damascus, Jeddah, Istanbul, Tehran but we’re looking to expand and engage new contributors from other cities in the region.
Why did you decide to create this platform, when you express the same opinions on your own blogs?
All of us aren’t professional bloggers. We come from different backgrounds but share the same frustration. We were fed up with the usual news coverage which usually communicates simplistic views and stereotypes about places in the region.
What does Mashallah team hope to achieve with this platform?
We want to cover stories that rarely make it to conventional media and thus reach a public interested in cultural dynamics and everyday life stories in these cities. We aim at gathering a community of readers eager to know about urban life, social initiatives and personal stories.
What topics do you focus on? What topics are not covered/should not be discussed on Mashallah news?
We focus basically on social and cultural issues and we are looking for original and surprising stories from the cities that we cover. There are already many websites dealing with national, regional and international aspects of politics – today they all speak about the Wikileaks for instance.
Overall, there is a shortage of news media that deal with non-political issues, and the ones that do this are often local. Mashallah wants to fill this void by being a portal for connecting a number of dynamic cities with a vibrant cultural and social life. We provide a space for an outlook that is both urban and regional.
Also, our way of working and publishing is focused on quality rather than quantity, so you should not expect Mashallah to cover hot news and: we prefer feature topics and less-told stories
Who can participate? How can readers help?
Everyone with some writing, translating or photography skills, who lives in one of the countries we aim at covering and shares our outlook. Readers can help by sending us their feedback to email@example.com and also by spreading the word on the street, Facebook, Twitter: everywhere !
So, check out the website, browse through the cities and read the articles. If you like what you see, then spread the word, tell your friends and your friends’ friends, contribute if possible.