Citizen journalism app coming from a young enterpreneur. We are talking about Signal and Mark Malkoun. Signal represents something that should become favorite for citizen journalists. This photojournalism app will provide to all interested citizens great way for reporting and finding news.
This is our interview with Mark Malkoun:
Q: What inspired you to create Signal?
A: a personal desire to get a simple way of seeing what’s happening around you straight from the people. Users are already using their cell phones to take pictures of interesting things they encounter and posting them to social networks, or sending them to traditional news corporation like CNN IReport… However, traditional news are centralized and can be slow or biased… And existing social networks tend to be news about friends, people, or brands and not suitable for on-the-ground events.
Q: How it works?
A: Signal is an iPhone application that allows users to create mini-stories by capturing real-world events through camera, Geo-location, and have the community vote for these mini-stories to derive the top ones. The final result is an app that shows you the top stories of any country of the world, completely created and voted by the users in a systematic decentralized way.
Q: Is Signal local or global project ?
A: It is definitely a global project.
Q: What is Signal’s specialty ?
A: Being a complete decentralized citizen journalism solution.
Q: Since you launched a citizen journalism app, does that mean that you have enough confidence in citizen journalists and their ethics ?
A: Citizen journalism works, and we are seeing its tremendous effect on existing social networks. That being said, verification and quality control is very important and one of the things we do is that we rely on images more than texts, and all images are less than 72 hrs old and geo-tagged, which means that this information is being taken directly from the device to avoid any human error.
Q: How do you see citizen journalism comparing to traditional media ?
A: Citizen journalism can be present all over the world and in much greater number than traditional media… In our case, it is much easier to convince a user to download our free and useful app, than it is for Reuters to hire a new journalist. With Signal, we let the community decide which story is important versus a few key people like in traditional media. Signal relies more on footage than opinions, that can also be biased.
Q: Is citizen journalism developed in Lebanon?
A: There are quite a few citizen journalism initiatives in Lebanon, and it is growing thanks to the internet as it is in any other place in the world.
Q: Your opinion about social media and citizen journalism as new media.
A: Social media is largely being used for citizen journalism… However, most larger existing social networks were not initially designed for citizen journalism but instead for delivering news about a celebrity, friend, or brand; With Signal, we focus on events happening in every country more than stories about a particular person or brand.
Q: The way you see citizen journalism in the future.
A: Citizen journalism will continue to grow thanks to the internet, and with the proper system many challenges like trust and reliability can be solved.
Q: Signal – expectations and plans for the future.
A: We plan to release on iPhone at first, followed by Android. The buzz is out and people are loving the concept, we plan to continue innovating and delivering a complete platform that allows real news by the people, for the people.
Thanks to Mark for the interview and we wish him huge success with Signal citizen journalism app !