Nowadays, everyone can be a reporter. Every day, people all over the world post pictures, videos and comment online on what’s happening around them. Live events and breaking news are being covered more and more by regular citizens and are often faster than mainstream media.
Since the rise of social media, journalists have been using social networking to discover and follow stories. News crowdsourcing is hence not new but now comes in a new shape – NewsiT. Launched at this year’s SXSW Interactive – THE place of citizenship journalism and reporting – NewsiT is a mobile ‘crowd-reporting’ platform founded by Melinda Wittstock, a journalist with over 25 years of experience working for The Guardian, BBC, The Observer and ABC News.
NewsiT empowers people to get the word out on things that matter to them or report from breaking events they find themselves in the midst of. To encourage people to do so, NewsiT added an element of gamification to their app – for every piece of news users share, they are rewarded with points, badges and prizes. At SXSW, it is rumored that the user with the biggest amount of points will win an iPad.
What about the quality and legal assurance? Next to algorithms, NewsiT claims to have all content evaluated and double-checked by human editors. I am curious to see how the app will be received at SXSW and beyond but for now I am off to earn my first mobile reporting points!