IndieFrame, a platform hosting video content that anyone witnessing a remarkable event can load was launched in Bucharest on Tuesday, in the presence of the project’s initiators, Danish Cecilia Valsted and Lars Brusk.
The platform aims at revolutionizing journalism, as any ordinary citizen can become a “smartphone reporter”. “Just like with Uber you only need a car to be taxi driver, with the IndieFrame network you only need a smartphone to be a reporter,” says the platform presentation.
The mobile app attached to the Indieframe.com that helps load the video content is already available on GooglePlay (for Android), free of any charge, and it will be also available for iPhone on AppStore as of December 1st.
The video content providers are paid with 80% of the price that media institutions are paying for their video footage, while the price is set by the video content creators.
The idea behind IndieFrame dates back in 2009, when Cecilia Valsted and Lars Brusk were involved in making the “Burma VJ” documentary. The film presents the military regime in Myanmar, seen through Joshua’s eyes, a local cameraman, who chose to fight with cameras instead of guns. The documentary was nominated for Oscar.
The two Danes developed this idea now with IndieFrame, allowing any citizens to be reporters, while concurrently democratizing the way media agenda is set.
As far as the reliability of the information loaded on the platform is concerned, the two Danish initiators say the information is cumulatively checked. “You see an event shot in a way, then another user is loading a film with the same event but from a different perspective (…) The more you have more video angles, the nearer you are to the truth,” Valsted explains.
Moreover, editorial offices and the final users of these images are also encouraged to check the information in their turn. As a matter of fact, the platform authors claim that IndieFrame will only contain newsworthy video content, and not “paparazzi-like contents”, “family films or cat videos.”
“The content has to have value. You cannot load anything you want on the platform,” Lars Brusk stresses.
The application is providing not only the framework where the video content can be loaded, but also “a map” of the “smartphone reporters”, as their name can be available, as well as information about their location. Yet, there is also the option of them being anonymous and nonlocalized.
According to Cecilia Valsted, IndieFrame will turn citizens in media agenda authors, instead of the large media institutions. “Mass media has had the role of gatekeepers for many, many years. It’s good in certain circumstances. But this means that editorial offices can also decide what story will turn into news,” she argues. Instead, all those who considered they filmed a relevant event can express themselves on this platform.
IndieFrame app is available for now only in Romania and Denmark, but it is to be developed in other countries as well.
Its authors say that the app’s launching in Romania is also related to the upcoming general elections on December 11th.
“The reason we are now focusing on Romania is simple. It’s a country where the people’s involvement in politics is high, and there are upcoming general elections on December 11th. It’s the right moment when the fight against propaganda is crucial. We see the latest events in the USA. We want to encourage Romanians to report these extremely important events from their own – unbiased- perspective,” Cecilia Valsted pointed out.
The software used for the platform development was designed by a Romanian company, Tremend.