Digital Innovation Strategy
As hyperlocal and regional news started gaining prominence, there arose a need to involve citizens to gather it and inform the media houses. The Bennett Coleman group cashed on the idea and developed an app—Citizen Reporter. Citizens could now voice their opinion on issues in their locality and share pictures and videos, under various categories such as civic, social, crime, law and order, and so on. The app is available on Android and Apple app stores. It is integrated to CMS/editorial software tools/online news sites of Times Group. Some of its key features are easy content submission, user profile image (user recognition), notification of actions by Times Group on content submitted, and publishing of selected stories in print daily along with the name of the citizen reporter. It also enables users to share stories on social media.
The app helped the Times Group enhance reader engagement leveraging user generated content and social impact stories. It also helps in government-public-media partnership to solve basic issues of the citizens. Currently the app has a total of more than one lakh users across TOI, Maharashtra Times, and Navbharat Times, and has generated more than 1.5 lakh stories received from citizens.