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App empowers Kenya’s citizen reporters to document breaking news

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Media 24th Aug 2017 International Journalists' Network


During key breaking stories such as national elections, newsrooms are increasingly dependent on ordinary citizens to let them know what is going on at thousands of polling stations

Images or footage recorded by ordinary citizens can help journalists tell stories which otherwise might be ignored. That’s one reason why some of Kenya’s most prominent news publications, The Star and The Standard, have developed citizen journalism platforms and apps that readers can use to file stories. Star Reports (run by The Star) and UReport (run by The Standard) give ordinary citizens an opportunity to actively participate in generating news stories that matter to them.

Star Reports, an Android app developed with support from Code for Africa and ICFJ, was launched in May 2017. It allows users to share stories, images and videos of events in their neighborhood or of incidents that they witness. Instead of just passively commenting on stories that have been published or broadcast, apps like Star Reports allow users to generate their own stories and set the news agenda, by highlighting what is of interest to them and their community.

So far, readers have used Star Reports to publish a wide range of stories, from an alert on developer malfeasance to images of protests. The app — free to download from the Google Play Store — prompts users to answer the five basic questions that should be in any news report  — who, what, when, where, how and why. This information supplements the images or video that users can then upload directly to The Star website.

Read the full article at International Journalists' Network

App, Kenya, citizen reporters

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