screenshot of Relay tool with breaking news from Turkey

BBG Pioneers Mobile Platform for Breaking News


WASHINGTON- The Office of Digital and Design Innovation at the Broadcasting Board of Governors is revamping the way journalists report breaking news with a new mobile live-blogging platform, Relay.

Relay offers journalists a sleek and easy way to collect and distribute text and multimedia content using their mobile phones and tablets. Readers can swipe through a timeline for the latest news updates, videos and photos, and can also subscribe to mobile alerts from Relay to follow the news as it unfolds. The platform’s responsive design adapts to all mobile devices.

“Relay’s ease and speed allows journalists to concentrate more on reporting and less on the process of publishing,” said Randy Abramson, director of audio and video projects at BBG and the project lead for Relay. “Updates are submitted by email, and are intuitively organized on a user-friendly timeline.”

Many VOA language services are putting Relay to the test, including reporters from the Khmer and Indonesia services, who will use the live-blogging platform during their coverage of Sunday night’s Academy Awards. The VOA French to Africa Service also plans to use Relay throughout its World Cup coverage this July.

“With Relay, we’re able to instantly send text, video and photo updates, which can then tie into our social media sites like Twitter and YouTube,” said Ade Astuti, VOA Indonesian’s new media manager.

As an open source tool, Relay is freely available for use by other media organizations and government agencies. On February 27, NASA used the tool to document the launch of its Global Precipitation Monitoring system.