How Completure could revolutionise citizen journalism
As an Airbus plummeted into the Hudson River in Manhattan, few realised that it would be the point of no return for journalism and social media. Minutes after the plane went down, Janis Krums uploaded a picture of passengers evacuating the plane as he headed across on a ferry, alerting the entire world to an international news story.
All that time, the FlightStats information website was showing the downed plane as 26 minutes late, but still on course to its final destination in North Carolina. The so-called ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ was one of the first major incidents where the potent combination of camera phones and mobile internet access allowed members of the public to capture images of a breaking news story before the press got a chance.
With this in mind, today sees the launch of Completure, which aims to capture these new opportunities that smart phones create for citizen journalists. The app allows users to upload geo-tagged photographs of breaking stories which can then be viewed according to their location, rating or when they were uploaded.
Users can add a simple caption of up to 60-characters but for all intents and purposes it is the picture which do the talking. As shown by Instagram this year, there is a huge desire for users to share visual stories all round the world. A desire so great that it saw the company sold to Facebook for close to $1 billion.
Completure has several advantages over its social media rivals which should allow it to make serious headway. While on Twitter users are only alerted to tweets of people they follow, Completure can notify users to posts near their location. Budding citizen journalists are also able to listen in to police radio near them or from across twenty countries worldwide from the USA to East Timor.
The creators have taken measures to ensure that the app doesn’t become cluttered when multiple users are reporting the same story. A voting system allows the most relevant content to be promoted and seemingly biased or doctored images to be filtered out. The app also compiles pictures about the same event into a single news story.
Creator Mark Malkoun, a Lebanese developer, thinks that the voting system gives the app a real advantage in countries where traditional news outlets have political agendas, “Most big media corporations out there are imposing what the top stories should be.”
He goes on to say; “You may have attempts to abuse a story from all sides. Everyone will try to game the system. Our goal is really to be unbiased and democratised. You have a difference of opinion and you see the whole story. And with the voting, you see who is in favour of it and who is against it.”
Completure is available free on the iTunes storeTagged in: Airbus, citizen journalism, Completure, Hudson River, Instagram
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