Reporta™: Harnessing Technology to Help Protect Journalists on the Ground

Posted July 27, 2015 from United States

The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) is in the final stages of developing Reporta™, a mobile security application (also known as an “app”) designed to enhance safety protocols for journalists reporting from potentially hostile environments. The new app was developed in response to the deteriorating security conditions faced by thousands of journalists around the world.

The IWMF is leading journalist user group testing of a beta version of the app that will inform the refinement of the final version before it is launched in summer 2015. The first round of testing began in Africa in February with 36 IWMF fellows and Ugandan reporters. The app will also be tested in March and April by journalists in Latin America, the Middle East and the U.S.

Once completed, Reporta™ will be an essential security tool for journalists, however, it has not been designed to replace hostile environments training. The free app will be available in English as well as Arabic, French, Hebrew, Spanish, and Turkish.

Reporta™ will empower journalists to implement security protocols with the touch of a button while in the field. It has three key functions:

creating aCheck-Insystem for journalists when they are going into a situation which could be potentially dangerous; allowing journalists to send customizedAlertswhen facing impending danger; and providing anSOS functionfor journalists in situations of extreme urgency.

Reporta™ is designed to be a part of and not a replacement for security training. It is not an emergency rescue service. However, by enabling journalists and others to send immediateCheck-Ins,AlertsandSOS messagesto the customized contact lists users create, Reporta™ instantaneously provides critical information to those who can act upon it when an individual is facing danger. Compiling data gathered from Reporta™ will also allow the IWMF to securely record and track trends in safety threats among users, including unique incidents faced by women journalists.

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