UK regional publisher Archant and citizen journalism photo news agency Citizenside have teamed up to launch iwitness24, a community news platform which will help "to bring the locals back to local news", a press release announced today.
Archant readers, divided into 7 regional sub-communities, can contribute content through the website - accessible through a one-click sign in with Facebook Connect - or the iPhone and the Android applications. This allows them to share geotagged photos, videos, and text articles directly with their local newsrooms.
The initiative, which uses Citizenside's Reporter Kit technology, aims to allow Archant to more effectively engage with its readers and foster the power of its local communities.
Using the "Calls for Witnesses" tool, Archant can send geotargetted news alerts to members within 1 km of breaking news events to ask for their help in coverage, the press release explains.
"The technology actually associates a geolocation - provided when users sign up - with every member. With this tool, Archant's local journalists can then contact their readers they know to be in the area of a news event", Garrett Goodman, International Coordinator for Citizenside, told the Editors Weblog.