Awarded ‘Examiner’ app plays a role in engagement

Sep 12, 2012 at 01:03 am by Staff

A truck rolls and there’s no photographer at hand. Instead, a reader using Fairfax Regional’s new iPhone app delivers an image within minutes.

The crowdsourcing approach is supported by emerging inhouse technology being used at two Tasmanian publishing sites, and now works with both Apple and Android smartphones.

“Currently stories and images from readers come in as emails, but that’s changing, and we have their phone number if we want more details,” says ‘Examiner’ online editor Simon Tennant. “We can also send out a general alert to people who might be on the scene if something really big happens, but we haven’t had to use that yet.”

The rollout follows introduction of a new content management system, and is the product of a Fairfax Regional Media project team, working with staff from the northeast Tasmanian daily. The popular app has been downloaded by more than half of the Launceston paper’s print circulation and one in ten of the city’s residents.

‘Examiner’ editor Martin Gilmour says readers get to see their efforts in print or online. “The social pages of our Sunday edition have been pretty much totally made up from photos people have sent us via the app,” he says.

The 170-year-old paper won an INMA award for the app and its audience engagement in Los Angeles in May, and last Thursday was named PANPA Newspaper of the Year in its 25,000-90,000 circulation category.

Fairfax plans to rollout iPhone and Android apps throughout its 220 regional titles and 160 websites.

Pictured: A ‘report’ button on the iPhone app turns readers into reporters


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