Coming up soon, on 11/10/11, brand new mobile platform Rawporter. We are introducing this amazing new project for citizen journalists and all news fans.

Rawporter is helping everyday people cash in on being at the right place at the right time. We connect the media and the masses by building an on-demand mobile news force to capture events as they are happening. Instead of sending out an expensive news crew or waiting on their loyal audience to submit “breaking news,” Rawporter enables news outlets to request specific content from everyday people who are near newsworthy events.  In return, those contributors get the cash and the credit they deserve.

Check out Rawporter’s How It Works video.

We are pleased to share our email interview with Rawporter’s Co-Founder Kevin Davis.

Q: What was the motive which impelled you to start Rawporter?

A: We think there’s an easier way for everyday people to cash in on being in the right place at the right time. We’ve experienced it first-hand—where you capture something newsworthy only to see it lost in the black hole that is YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter. Media outlets are desperate for ways to spice up their newscasts with locally relevant footage. We’re here to connect those media outlets with the masses.

Q: What is your primary aim and what are your expectations?

A: Rawporter wants to help media outlets crowdsource cost-efficient news content that they would normally not have access to. At the same time, it’s important to us that our contributors’ rights are protected, and that they get the recognition they deserve. That’s why, if something sells, contributors get paid. If something is used, they get the on-screen or online credit.

Q: Rawporter – very interesting word game, tell us more about it.

A: As we’ve seen with many recent world events, raw video is incredibly powerful and compelling. Rawporter is about reporting raw events as they actually happened. It is “raw” reporting…hence, Rawporter. We see value in citizen journalism and also see the need for pure raw content that doesn’t take a lot of effort to capture. We simply want people to use our App to capture newsworthy events when they find themselves in the right place, at the right time. The App automatically time, date and location stamps the content so all users have to do is add a few keywords and hit “submit”. They are welcome to act as a “Reporter” but we think the general public would prefer to let the experts publish “polished” content.

Q: Do you have partners who are helping you to carry out this project ?

A: Yes. We are a VERY busy team of three and growing!

Q: How do you see presence of citizen journalism in media today?

A: Citizen journalism is growing exponentially and becoming increasingly relevant because it provides compelling, cost effective content for the media. What’s really exciting is that we’re seeing journalism becoming increasingly participatory, where everyday people are capturing, sharing, and dictating what is newsworthy. That’s where we see Rawporter helping out, by making it easy for anyone to participate in the news.

Q: Do you think that media, in general, is completely in the service of people?

A: Media provides an invaluable service but there are always opportunities for improvement. More transparency and less bias are two examples. We believe those improvements are occurring with the convergence of mobile, social and media—now everyday people can help shape the stories that the mainstream media used to dictate. We intend to help facilitate that.

Q: As a mobile platform you have in front of you great market. What are you offering to ordinary citizens that will inspire them to become citizen journalists?

A: Rawporter is introducing a free iPhone App (Droid is coming soon!) that improves the odds of getting famous and getting paid for simply being in the right place at the right time. We’ve designed the App to make capturing news so easy that anyone can participate. In fact, with our Assignments feature, we’ll even notify you if you’re near something newsworthy and tell you what the media’s willing to pay for it.

Q: In your opinion, will the status of citizen journalism in the media change in the future?

A: Yes, definitely. In fact, we’re already starting to see the mainstream media rely more heavily on everyday people to provide them with compelling news. Occupy Wall Street, the Libya and Egypt uprisings—these are just the latest examples of how the media is relying on everyday people, armed with little more than a mobile phone, to get where their cameras and their crews can’t go. They’re telling the stories we all knew existed but couldn’t document until now.

Q: What are Rawporter’s plans for the future?

A: The first step is our beta launch on 11/10/11. We’ve been coding furiously this year to build the first iteration of our online and mobile platforms (iOS at launch and Android coming soon). We have also been busy making media introductions and building support in news community. Rawporter is changing the traditional content sourcing model significantly, and we expect a significant learning curve. While in beta, we will gather feedback from both contributors and media partners to improve the experience. Ultimately we hope to bridge the current gap that exists between the media and the masses. Finding a way to solve for both audiences will improve the quality of news for everyone and make the media landscape more compelling than ever before.

Thanks to Kevin Davis for taking his time and sharing these information before launching, and these are some benefits for Rawporter’s Contributors and Media:

Contributor Benefits

  • Recognition with on-screen credit
  • Compensation for submissions that sell
  • Active participation in the evolution of new media

Media Benefits

  • Efficient resource for fresh and abundant news content
  • Visceral and compelling content from a first-person perspective
  • Access to content not normally available through traditional sourcing methods
  • Ability to push assignments to Rawporter contributors
  • Unlimited access to ever-growing stock content database
  • Intelligent alerts so you know when news is breaking
  • Competitive advantage through innovation

8 comments on “Interview with Rawporter Co-Founder Kevin Davis

  • Amazing concept: Users get paid. Speaking of, Janis Krums, from MIRACLE ON THE HUDSON is endorsing Rawporter on the ‘How it Works’ page. That huge. I live in NY City, which means tons of opportunities to be a citizen journalist and capture the next miracle.. AWESOME.

  • I think Rawporter is brilliant! Citizen Journalism is one aspect, and getting the raw footage in the right hands is another. Developing more of a complete story sourced by the masses is undeniably powerful.

  • As much as I see the value for media companies in finding footage filmed by the public, one thing remains to be a challenge for citizen journalists i.e. the need for skills to do a complete story, including sound bytes/vox pops, structure, intro, research etc. If the proverbial plane goes down, any media owner will pay for the clip and get the rest of the details the conventional way, but, if its a low profile story to start off with, the media owners might not have the time or resources to complete the missing parts. So it will require more than a great app and an on-line platform to make it a success. Hereby I am suggesting basic training that goes hand in hand with the app to improve the standard of reporting. We dont mind watching that plane go down in a lo-res shaky blurry citizen clip, but if its the local council meeting, it has to be of high(er) standard with cutaways etc.

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