Meporter Turns Android Owners Into News Reporters

If you just like sharing information or you fancy yourself to be a news reporter, you might use Twitter, but while Twitter is a popular choice it can be difficult to follow news in it unless there is a big event. A better choice may be Meporter, available for the iPhone and Android phones, because it is optimized specifically to support citizen journalism.

The Android version of Meporter has just become available and is currently in beta, although the iPhone version has been available for some time. If you see something newsworthy to share, you can take a picture or record video with the Meporter app and then share the information with other Meporter users.

You use the Meporter app to read news near a geographical location, and the app uses the location capabilities of your smartphone to determine your location. If you wish, you can manually enter a name of a city to see reports from that location. Reports created in Meporter can also be shared to Facebook and Twitter.

Of course, the challenge with apps like Meporter is getting enough users to create enough content to make the app worthwhile. After installing the app I checked for news near my location and did not find any. After expanding the search to cover the entire metropolitan Detroit area I found four articles.

A search for articles near Chicago returns about two dozen articles, but that highlights two issues that I have with this app. One is that there is no quality control on articles such as community voting, which means articles can range from serious reports to innocuous things like “lazy cat alert.” The other issue is that the only filtering of the news articles is by category and there are no date filters, which means search results could return old articles that are no longer relevant.

Meporter provides badges to reward users for their contributions. If you sign up now the first badge you will get is for the “Million Man Launch” contest in which Meporter is giving away $28,000 worth of cash prices to the first million people who sign up and share the app their their friends.

If you are interested in trying Meporter, you will find this free app in the iTunes App Store and the Android Market.