French daily le Parisien has just introduced a citizen reporting function to its iPhone app. Called YOU, and launched with the help of French start-up Citizenside, the citizen reporting community is already in place on the paper's website.
YOU allows readers to send in their photos, videos or textual contributions and these are immediately published on the YOU section of the site. Contributions are then verified by Le Parisien staff and may be used in on leParisien.fr and in the print publications le Parisien and its national edition Aujourd'hui.
Allowing readers to send in information and images directly via their mobile phones makes sense as it provides immediacy and it is possible to use geolocation to corroborate where news was sent from. Several other publications already invite their readers to send contributions via their iPhones, including the Telegraph, CNN, and Bild.
Citizen contributions are only truly valuable if professionally verified, but for news outlets there are definitely advantages to having readers out and about ready to alert them to news events and to capture footage. Telegraph head of mobile Maani Safa said that the paper receives "a huge amount of photos" via the report function on its app, and that it is useful to have all these extra eyes and ears for the Telegraph.
Source: Citizenside blog