WXXI's New Citizen Journalism Mobile App To Empower Under-Represented Communities

Apr 13, 2015

Recent reporting has highlighted incidents on the campus at The College of Brockport where students of color became the targets for anonymous harassment via the anonymous messaging app called Yik Yak. The event led college administrators to write to the app’s developers asking them to modify it.

Other cases of cyber bullying using social media have been widely reported and highlight both the power and the pitfalls inherent in an open social media environment.

Now a new tool being developed by WXXI in partnership with a local group of code developers, Hacks/Hackers, is aiming to harness the positive energy of diverse voices, and apply best practice.

Funded with a small startup grant from the Institute for Nonprofit News and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, WXXI has spent the past year working a developing a new hyper-local community reporting app called Yellr.

This Need to Know segment examines the new app and its goal: to empower those traditionally under-represented communities with a platform that can enable them to share their perspectives and respond to a variety of community news assignments.