App of the week: Signal
Operating systems: Apple (iPhone 3GS+, iPod touch, iPad2+). An Android version is in the pipeline.
Release: The app will launch in Lebanon this month, and will be available in the UK within two months.
What is it and how is it of use to journalists? Inspired by the Arab Spring, Signal is an app that assists and encourages citizen journalism by allowing users to create “mini stories” by capturing real-world events using cameras and geolocation.
The user 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, created and voted by the users in a decentralised, crowdsourced manner.
At the moment, content creation is limited to photographs, but creator Mark Malkoun will be adding video in a future release. An Android version of the app is also in the pipeline.
Malkoun, a Lebanese entrepreneur, told Journalism.co.uk:
Signal will provide journalists with an image-rich, organised platform that will give them new ideas and stories.
Because the mini stories are filtered by importance using votes, it will help journalists understand which stories are interesting to readers prior to writing an article.
Communication tools will be available in order to verify the story.
Follow @Signal_app on Twitter for updates.