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Grumpy old man: Zorro and citizen journalism with Tackable app for the iPhone

Submitted by on February 13, 2011 – 10:35 pmNo Comment


I am the little guy on the right with the Zorro mask. That makes me feel like having a noble mission and the bad guys would not know my identity and they are scared. I am not riding on Phantom nor do I use a sword, I use my iPhone to accomplish my goals.

I am one of many reporting everything around us, wherever we are. I take pictures and type messages and publish it right away to a map on the iPhone. It pops up on the screen (see picture), so anybody in the whole wide world will know. Most of the time I work on my own, constantly looking out for something interesting to tell. Like the trash bags my neighbors put on the street instead of using the bin. Or a sneak view through the windows at night – you would have to see that to believe it! The local newspapers are on my side. They like to get pictures and stories they can publish from me, so their reporters can sleep without having nightmares, while I am out there to do their job.

Sometimes they will give me even an assignment. Say, when something really important happens. So I would rush to the location and snap around with my iPhone camera. You have to be smart like Zorro the fox! If you are too slow, others will be there first and win the race to get rewarded by the newspapers. You know, they not only publish our pictures for free, they give out badges and points as a reward! I have 17 badges already. The last one “City Hero” I earned with the picture of a look-alike Lady Gaga. And the points are good for some fresh donuts at Biggy Donuts. But I have to pay for the coffee myself, you see it’s not a bribe or so.

Sure, sometimes it’s getting a little boring though. That’s when all of us, btw they call us “citizen photojournalists”, what a funny name, that’s when we make news so we have some fun. Like on the last lazy Sunday, when we reported about a murder in the city park. Joe, that’s my best buddy, layed down in the grass and we took some blurred and far-away pictures to make it look like a crime scene. We could not convince Joe to use tomato juice on his white shirt to make it look more real, he is married you know. So a lot of shouts came from our messaging from the city park and soon even the police came up, helicopters flew in and at least one pro photographer showed up. Maybe it was not a pro actually, but he had a Canik 5e! At that time we already sat in the local pub and Joe had to shout a round.

Let me know, what else we can photograph and report, OK!

Poynter reports: Tackable works with San Jose Mercury News on crowdsourced photojournalism app.

Tackable is putting photojournalism in the hands of the people. By working with a large number of news organization partners, Tackable makes it possible for citizens to contribute news photos & updates in real time: youtube

Tackable is designed to give you a live look at everything happening in your city, right now. Connect instantly with people witnessing what you’re interested in. News organizations use the platform to write better articles, faster.

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