admin on October 17th, 2011

YouReport is new interesting platform by Newstalk – one of the biggest national radio stations from Ireland. It is great, unique project very useful for citizen journalists which gives possibility to interact and share everything you find worth sharing. And get a prize for it.

Aidan McCullen, CEO of Communicorp Digital, is the best representative of YouReport and its history, so thanks to his kindness and time we have an exclusive opportunity to present our email interview.

Q: What inspired you to create citizen journalism platform YouReport?

A: We prefer to refer to it as an engagement platform, to enable engagement with the station.
We are very much a listener driven media group, focused on engaging with our audience.
On our station website newstalk.ie, we have many of comments on our online content.
A few years ago I did a course in music production and the course was packed with talent that had no way of being discovered.
I thought how there are so many talented people who do not have a way to be heard.
We decided to create a platform for people to be heard.
We decided to enable the site comments to become the content rather than being a reaction to the content created by the station.
These 2 worlds can coexist in a much more cohesive fashion.
A Steve Jobs (RIP) would say, we connected the dots and YouReport was born!

Q: Since Newstalk is a radio station, was the interaction with audience (citizens) crucial for a starting citizen journalism website?

A: The station is focused on what the audience wants and YouReport lets the audience drive the station more and more as it grows bigger and bigger.

Q: How YouReport works?

A: Post your photo, video or story to YouReport or use the Newstalk mobile app.
Then share it on your social networks getting as many views as possible once your story is published.
When the clock stops, the top four articles with the most views are in with a chance to win the weekly prize.
The final winner is chosen by Newstalk and announced on the Right Hook Shoe every Wednesday and published on the Newstalk website.
As you upload more reports, you’ll earn badges indicating your status as a YouReporter. If you report regularly, you could be awarded reporter, journalist or editor status. The higher your status, the greater your profile.

Q: Tell us something about your rewards – badges.

A: This element is a bonus element to integrate with the growing phenomenon of gamification.
It also ties nicely in with the idea that we want each YouReporter to create a profile.
The profile can act as a CV, where all that YouReporters reports are gathered.
We hope this may lead to either employment or promotion for the reporter.

Q: Now that you have both – traditional and citizen media do you think it’s possible, in general, to connect these two media?

A: Definitely, traditional media must adapt to an increasingly digital world.
We work to Charles Darwin’s observation:

” It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. “

Q: How do you see citizen journalism in Ireland?

A: It is a new phenomenon in Ireland and we like to lead the way in media innovation in Ireland.
Like anything new it will take time to grow, but we believe in it.

Q: Is your country more open to traditional media or it’s moving towards online content?

A: We believe all media is moving towards a digital or digitally integrated future.
Yes, we are moving more towards digital.

Q: How do you see influence of social media in today media, especially in traditional?

A: It has a huge benefit.
Our stations have the highest Facebook following in Ireland.
Spin1038 for example has 110,000 active fans.
This is because this is not just part of our offering, it is a key part of our offering.
We were the first media group in the world to create a Facebook app to listen live. Listen to our archive and listen to podcasts via our Facebook Pages.
We reward our fans as much as possible with prizes and competitions.
Most importantly we listen to and reply to our fans.
We strive to be available on emerging digital platforms to welcome our audience there rather than follow them there.

Q: Citizen journalism future in Ireland from your point of view.

A: Positive, it will grow more and more.

Q: YouReport plans for the future.

A: Grow with our audience.
Give our audience more and more of a voice and include them more and more in the station.

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