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RevSquare Partners with IWMF on Reporta App to Help Keep Journalists Safe

The new personal safety app for journalists is available in six languages, on both iPhone and Android devices.

Rebecca Phillips

Rebecca Phillips

posted on Sept. 30, 2015

With journalists throughout the world in increasing danger, RevSquare is proud to have collaborated with the International Women’s Media Foundation to launch Reporta, a new smartphone app designed to help keep journalists safe in the field.

Reporta is a free mobile security app that allows journalists to keep editors, friends, and family members aware of their locations, and to instantly broadcast an alert in the case of a potentially dangerous situation. RevSquare designed and developed the application, available for both iPhone and Android phones and also created a landing page for the application.

Journalism is a vital profession, but it can also be perilous.

“Journalists covering conflict zones, working in repressive environments, or reporting on sensitive or highly charged issues are too often the targets of attacks,” said Elisa Lees Muñoz, Executive Director of IWMF.

The last three years are believed to have been the most dangerous in recorded history for reporters. In 2014 alone, 66 journalists worldwide were murdered while doing their jobs.  Another 119 were kidnapped, and 178 were imprisoned, often for political reasons.*  

“Reporta was developed with the goal to harness the power of the one piece of technology that most journalists use every day – a mobile phone,” Muñoz added. “Now more than ever, it is critical to equip journalists with a free tool to help them stay safe and best positioned to continue to tell the significant stories of our time.” 
 
While Reporta is not designed to serve as a stand-in for hostile environments training, nor as a replacement for more traditional emergency services, it is intended to keep critical contacts instantly aware of journalists’ location, and, in the event of a crisis, to allow these contacts to swiftly mobilize resources as needed.

"Building Reporta was a great opportunity for us to us apply our digital know-how in support of IWMF's mission to protect journalists," said David Golub of RevSquare. "Our design challenge was to create an intuitive experience that respected very high-security requirements--and to launch in six languages." 

RevSquare designed Reporta with three essential features, each providing an escalating level of contact and assistance.  

  • An automated and customizable check-in system that allows journalists to provide key information about their location and status
  • A customizable alert function that allows journalists to let key contacts know when their safety or that of a colleague’s may be at risk
  • A SOS feature that can be used to send an emergency message with the touch of a button

At launch, Reporta is available in six languages: Arabic, English, French, Hebrew, Spanish, and Turkish.

Find out more about Reporta on the IWMF website here.
 
*Data from Reporters without Borders.


Project Update (1/1/16): Subsequent to the launch of Reporta, RevSquare worked with IWMF and a team of digital security experts (including both professionals and volunteers) to improve the security of Reporta by making a series of recommended updates. We’re grateful for the contributions of many dedicated individuals to this effort.

As part of this process, we similarly worked to support IWMF by preparing an open source version of the code suitable to be posted for public review on Github. We look forward hearing back from the community about additional opportunities to improve the user experience, functionality and security of this application.

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