New REPORTA security app helps keep journalists safe

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The International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) has brought out an app called REPORTA that puts a journalist’s security protocols within quick and easy reach.

The free app basically ensures a reporter is able to confirm their location and status, let key contacts know if their or their colleagues’ safety is at risk and even send an SOS message at the touch of a button.

Journalists can use the app to create notifications with photos, audio files or videos that can be send to preconfigured contacts quickly; it brings to mind the kind of security seen in old movies where the good guys meet up with the bad guys and ensure their safety only by saying how if they’re killed, sensitive documents will automatically be sent places the bad guys don’t want them to go.

The app is available for Android and iOS phones, and it’s available in six languages: English, French, Spanish, Hebrew, Arabic and Turkish.

The official release says the past three years have been “widely reported as the deadliest period on record” for journalists, as more than ever have died on duty while reporting on corruption, conflicts, illegal activities and other sensitive topics.

The IWMF also said female journalists have suffered particularly, with two thirds of them having “experienced intimidation, threats or abuse as a result of their work”.

And when they’re not being killed, journalists are being harassed, abducted and even imprisoned, giving the profession more incentive than ever to have ways to get word of their predicaments out as quickly as possible.

What better way to protect themselves than through an app that works on their phones, which is the one thing they all have on them, nearly all the time?

You don’t absolutely have to be a journalist to download and use REPORTA, it’s for anyone who has similar security-related needs. Life can be quite dangerous for journalists reporting on sensitive issues, so an app that makes them safer is a welcome development.

Sound interesting? Grab it for Android phones here, and iOS phones here.

[Image – IWMF]

Deon du Plessis

Deon du Plessis

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.