LSU students create newsgathering app

Published: May. 21, 2015 at 9:43 PM CDT|Updated: May. 22, 2015 at 5:24 PM CDT
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Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB


Two LSU students have created a computer application that allows eyewitnesses to share what they see with newsrooms across the country.

LSU journalism student Wil Nobles said his friend Elbis Bolton, a software engineering student, came up with the idea while watching news coverage of recent incidents across the country involving police. Nobles then learned of the a social media challenge with a grant to help bring his idea to life.

"One can't help but wonder how many reports have not been reported because they were not sent to the media, because the people didn't know where to send it, or people are worried they (media) wouldn't use it," Nobles said.

"I thought this is a pretty cool opportunity," Bolton said.

Following three months of trial and error, the two came up with the Police Officer Watchdog Event Reporter, or POWER. It includes a how to page and a menu that takes you to what's called a Reporter Page. From there the user can enter their name, the police agency working the event, and upload pictures or video.

The phone's GPS tells the two developers an exact location. From there, the two app developers review the content and forward it to news organizations.

"I intend to make a software to distribute to the newsrooms so all they have to do is fire it up, see any new events going on, and go from there,"

Bolton said.

Lamar Family Visiting Scholar, Steve Buttry, gave POWER high marks.

"It's a good journalism function of holding people in power accountable," Buttry said.

But, he said, to truly succeed Nobles and Bolton need the public to start reporting.

So far, 60 people have downloaded POWER.

POWER is available, free of charge, on all Android devices.

Apple is currently reviewing the app for approval on IOS systems.


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