• TMT soon to tap citizen reporting

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    The Manila Times (TMT), in partnership with software company Cormant Technologies, will soon introduce citizen journalism in a bid to have a wider pool of “reporters” who will gather and present news from around the world.

    Cormant Technologies, a 15-year-old Philippine-registered company based in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City, has developed a smartphone software for Android and iOS that allows individuals from anywhere in the world to send news stories to The Manila Times.

    Dubbed as TMT Correspondent, the program can soon be downloaded via Playstore.

    Ian Wilson, Cormant’s chief executive officer, and TMT President and chief executive officer Dante Ang 2nd, inked a memorandum of agreement on July 31 to formalize the project.

    “We develop applications that will be used by businesses either to be used within the organization or to interact with consumers or in the field,” Wilson said, adding that the software has a digital form where users can fill up. The firm can also develop a customized software, tailored to the specific needs of the customer.

    Cormant’s other projects include mobile workforce enablement and infrastructure management solutions that serve banks and mobile phone companies. It has a stable of experts employing Java, Net, Oracle, and SQL, among others.

    Under its agreement with TMT, people can report crime, corruption, disasters or calamities or events in their areas or communities.

    Citizen journalism has a long history but with the introduction of social media and internet-based web sites, it has grown into a force and now plays an active role in the process of gathering, reporting, analyzing, and disseminating news and information.

    With the help of citizen journalists, the public can easily have faster access to information or news breaking out in various areas.

    Citizen reporting became the source of information in huge events like the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the Arab Spring, the Occupy Wall Street movement, the 2013 protests in Turkey, and the civil war in Syria.

    In the Philippines, citizen reporting through social media is popular. Road accidents, floods, fires and rallies are usually the subject of citizens’ reports, including abuses of government employees and private individuals like taxi or bus drivers.

    Wilson said citizen reporting will not spawn fake news because under the program, TMT editors will verify and check the authenticity of the report.

    “Before posting the article, photo or video, the editor will scrutinize it and subject it to verification,” he said.

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