This article was published on by Sherry Ricchiardi

The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) has launched Reporta, a security app that, with a touch of a button, can signal an emergency. It utilizes the power of a device common to journalists worldwide -- a mobile phone.

The easy-to-use tool is available free on iPhone and Android devices in Arabic, Hebrew, Spanish, French, Turkish and English. The timing couldn’t be better.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists reports that this is the most deadly and dangerous period for media professionals in recent history. More freelancers are covering conflicts with scant protection or support. Extremist groups like the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, are targeting the press.

IWMF describes Reporta as “the only comprehensive personal security app available worldwide created specifically for journalists.” A check-in feature is at the heart of the new safety tool.

The app enables journalists to contact editors, colleagues or family members who can take action at the first sign of trouble. And that, says security expert Frank Smyth, could be a lifesaver.

“There is no better tool I know of to enable both contingency planning and emergency response for those operating in high-risk environments,” says Smyth, founder and executive director of Global Journalist Security. 

Smyth served as consultant for the IWMF project along with the International Center for Journalists, Rory Peck Trust, Article 19 and other media watchdogs.

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This post originally appeared on the International Journalists’ Network. IJNet delivers the latest on global media innovation, news apps and tools, training opportunities and expert advice for professional and citizen journalists worldwide. Produced by the International Center for Journalists, IJNet follows the shifting journalism scene from a global perspective in seven languages – Arabic, Chinese, English, Persian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Follow along on Twitter, Facebook or with IJNet’s free weekly newsletter.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Found in: Mobile Reporting, Apps / Podcasts