Kenyan newspaper unveils citizen-reporting app

The Star, a Kenyan daily, has introduced a new app promising to make it possible for citizens to post news and pictures of what is happening around them.

The new app, called Star Reports, is available for the Android platform through Google Play and is meant to assist the newspaper’s journalists to gather live and relevant news on a wider scale.

Users will also have a chance to share their news pieces with their friends on social media. The news publisher is, however, yet to detail how it would regulate stories posted by the public, although its promises to publish compelling ones in its hard copy edition.

Social media and technology is quickly changing the face of journalism worldwide. More media outlets are vigorously embracing the use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Google+ to spread news to their readers and viewers.

Recently, Google acknowledged the use of social media and other tools in journalism through their Africa News Innovation Challenge, which aimed to bring to the fore more options for news gathering. The competition has since shortlisted over 40 applications, to be screened to 20 finalists.

Another company that is working hard on a citizen e-journalism solution is Umuntu Media with its Mimiboard project, which offers mini virtual boards that users can post on through tweets, texts or direct posting. The platform is accessible on the mobile Web.

Some analysts have since likened The Star’s app to CNN’s iReport, which allows posting of videos and pictures on compelling news from across the world.

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