| 1 Comment Today we are presenting new, in our opinion revolutionary, local mobile newsdesk and the way its CEO Andy Leff sees it. It is Meporter. This is their official description: Meporter is a local mobile newsdesk that enables you to write, photograph and video your local news as it breaks. Meporter makes your stories available to anyone in the world with a mobile phone or an Internet connection. Readers will see your location, comment on stories and check in as eyewitnesses. If they’re on the spot too, they can post more about the story as events unfold. Meporters also win “Press Passes” (badges) for doing tasks on the app that can actually be redeemed for prizes so they feel incented to participate in the community. News is posted in all local news categories and can be shared with friends in the Meporter community, as well as other social media outlets like twitter and Facebook. Thanks to Andy Leff’s courtesy, we can present you our e-mail interview: NewsMeBack – Meporter – how it works? Andy Leff – Meporter works currently on iPhones and iPod touch. Anyone who wants to post news can download the app onto their phone and start reporting right away. When the app starts up it finds your location anywhere in the world and allows you to then read the local news and post it. When posting the news you can write as much or as little as you want, so there is no character limit, and you can attach pics and videos to the news to give it more flavor. We want Meporters meporting news about anything, it doesn’t have to be some huge event, it can be a local block party, or even a review of a local art gallery. If it is news to you it is probably news to someone else. Here is a link to a youtube video of how it works: NewsMeBack – Interesting name – can you tell something more about it. Andy Leff – Sure can. I have actually owned the domain name www.meporter.com since 2008 when i first had the initial idea for Meporter. I lucked out and the name Meporter was available at the time, so i snagged it for about 10 bucks from GoDaddy. So the name fits perfectly as we want everyone to be a reporter and think of themselves as a reporter so thats where the “Me” part came from. NewsMeBack – Your platform is great innovation among citizen journalism websites. Where did you get an idea for it? Andy Leff – During 2008 when i had the initial idea I read a Time Magazine article with the mirror on the cover about the person of the year when it was about “you” and covered all the new social media stuff. Within that massive article there was a smaller article about soldiers live blogging from Iraq and how their blogs were getting a ton of attention because it was unfiltered news from the battlefield. That is what sparked the idea for me. I wanted to build a platform that allowed everyone to tell about what was going on on their street and neighborhoods. At the time the technology wasn’t there to build out what is now Meporter, so the project went on the back burner in my notebook and when location services started to gain popularity and acceptance we knew it was time to start building Meporter. That was back in June 2010. NewsMeBack – What do you expect on Meporter more – text, photo or video? Andy Leff – This is tough to say. We know we will get text as we require at least some sort of minimum description of what you are seeing. After that I would probably say pictures and then video. Most people are very savvy about sharing pics through their phones. So I would say Text, pics, and then video if i had to look at current trends and predict the future. NewsMeBack – As young and very successful man with your own online media platform, how do you see today media? Andy Leff – I see today’s media as something that is evolving. Online technology disrupted how people view media, and now it is time for mobile to do the same. Old media will never be replaced but it has to adapt to how people want to consume it and use it. So I see Meporter changing the way people consume and report on local news. I think that old media and new media al have a relationship with each other where they are dependent on one another and i don’t see that particularly changing. NewsMeBack – Meporter is mobile newsdesk for both professional and citizen journalists. Do you think it is possible that your project succeeds in connecting the two media? Andy Leff – Yes. I think Meporter definitely connects professional and citizen journalism together. We have been approached by many media companies to work deals about syndicating data to them as they don’t have the resources to have their staff cover all of the local events. So Meporter opens up this new platform for them and gives them more coverage than they ever had in the past for their local and regional outlets. NewsMeBack – Considering Meporter as location based news gathering system designed for everyone, does that mean you believe in citizen journalism? Andy Leff – I absolutely believe in citizen journalism. it has been going on forever, even before the Internet, when people would talk to their friends about a local event or something that just happened. The technology just helps spread the word faster and allows more people to consume the message. Mobile technology brings that to a new level as there are many people that take pics or videos of things they see everyday while walking around. So now Meporter lets you share that with the world. NewsMeBack – Where do you see future of citizen journalism? Andy Leff – I see the future of citizen journalism in mobile and tablet computing. So many people carry smart devices around with them that gives them easy access to the web and each other. We live in a time where everyone has such easy access to gather information, especially on the local level. The problem was there were only limited ways to share it and let everyone know the full story of what was going on. I know that Meporter has the chance to change that. NewsMeBack – Meporter in the future, plans, development… Andy Leff – while I can’t predict the future I do know that we have some great plans and ideas for the expansion of Meporter and what we offer. We are developing our Droid app as well as looking into an iPad specific app. We plan on building out more features to make sharing local news reporting easier and we have some really cool ideas on how to get people engaged with local news and getting some really nice metrics and results for advertisers and sponsors. This is just the beginning of what we have planned, so stay tuned and download the app and start sharing your beat on the street. Another thanks from our side to Andy Leff and wishing Meporter great and successful future.