New VOA iPhone App Empowers Citizen Journalists

Voice of America’s Russian Service has rolled out a new iPhone app that does more than just deliver the latest news and information – it lets citizen journalists use their mobile devices to upload and share short reports, photos or video about key events in their target region.  

The app, which is available for free in the iTunes store (click here), is a true multimedia tool, providing access to VOA Russian service text, video, and audio content, including podcasts and the popular Russian blog.  The app also lets users bookmark VOA articles or create video and audio playlists, as well as connections to Twitter and Facebook for easy content sharing across social media sites.

Russian Service Managing Editor Irina Van Dusen says “the feature on the new app we are most excited about is called ‘You – the Reporter,’ which allows members of our audience to become citizen journalists who can share with our audience what they have witnessed or observed.”

VOA Russian Service iPhone appWith the new app, iPhone users can type a short report and attach photos or videos, then send that user-generated content directly to the VOA Russian Service, where journalists will evaluate the material for possible use on the website.

For other smartphone users, VOA Russian provides a state-of-the-art mobile website (click here) that adjusts to the specific features of the user’s phone (ru.voa.mobi). 

VOA’s Russian Service (Golos Ameriki) employs an all-digital strategy to deliver news and information to Russia and other former Soviet Republics.  With reporters in the United States and in the region, the service provides interactive and timely text, audio and video, and offers insights into U.S. policy and American life.

In the past year the service has experienced significant audience growth, with nearly 4 million visits to the site since January 1.  Earlier this month, the service teamed up with award-winning investigative journalist Fatima Tlisova, on a multi-media project aimed at telling the difficult stories that reporters are often punished for pursuing.  More than a blog, the Russian language project, titled Journalism in the Crosshairs (Pressa pod Pressom), provides a digital media platform for reporters from the former Soviet Union and Central Asia, who are often beaten or killed as a result of their work.

For more information about VOA or any of its 44 language services visit our website at www.voanews.com.  For Russian language news visit www.voanews.com/russian/news/. For information, or to download the new Russian app, visit http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/voanews-russian-edition/id429287693#.

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