How smartphone citizen reporters fight biased media news on IndieFrame App

by Newsroom 2019-01-15 10:57:47

With the increased spread of 'fake news' and 'alternative truths' in digital media, user generated content remains an enabler of free information, helping citizens to break free from elite gatekeepers like journalists.

Biased journalism following certain political agendas or simply ignoring relevant facts that people confront with in their everyday life, continue to undermine democracies around the world.

With use of social media for news starting to fall in a number of key markets after years of continuous growth [ source - Reuters, Digital News Report 2018 ] , we believe at IndieFrame that citizen smartphone reporters are the future of accurate reporting.

Connecting IndieFrame users with media around the world, fact-checking the content and offering editorial insights from people's perspective, are priorities for 2019.

examples of fake or 'ignored' news stories, exposed by IndieFrame reporters

1.  National media faking numbers of ruling party supporters in Moldova - drone photo proves less than 100K people attending

Citizen drone photo exposes media fake report on 100K people participating at ruling party support rally. Only 10K showed up in front of Parliament.

Around 10.000 attended Democrat Party supporting meeting in Chisinau, Moldova, 21.10.2018 | Drone photo -@Kupuyxa/ IndieFrame

Highly politicized event was presented by mainstream Moldovan and Russian media (including national portal and Sputnik propaganda website) as tremendous success, while reporting 100.000 citizens attended. In reality, only around 10% were present, as drone photo and footage shows. 

According to the IndieFrame user with protected identity name, the drone was ‘taken down’ by police forces shortly after the filming, in an act of informational censorship of the Moldovan authorities.

:: see also the drone video footage ::

2.  Animal cruelty at animal farms in Denmark exposed | NSFW video


 Source - @illa_bv / IndieFrame

The hidden cruel practices behind pig factory farming in Denmark: workers are told to ‘put down’ animals that get sick. Some seem to learn to enjoy it...

This Romanian farm worker in Lemvig - Denmark, was recorded last year by one of his co-workers, while killing a sick piglet. Farmers often choose to kill the sick animals in order to avoid the treatment costs. 

According to the IndieFrame user, the worker in the footage claims that he follows the instructions to kill the animals in order to keep his job, though in the contract he signed with the farm owner, this particular job requirement was not initially mentioned. 

3. Anglophone population mass genocide in Cameroon 

Global media ignored reporting the recent English-speaking detention and genocide in Southern Cameroon, who voiced their demand for an independent state in October 2017. 

Prisoners in Muyuka, Cameroon, November 2017 | Photo: Solomon Amabo / IndieFrame

IndieFrame local reporter based in Nigeria, documented the story in photos and added detailed descriptions of this human rights issue. 

Though the genocide has been briefly mentioned by Western media and mostly in connection with the violent Government response to South Cameroonian insurgency, stories of hundreds of persecuted minorities (as the ones documented by Solomon) still did not reach to public.

Fortunately, this IndieFrame story has been thoroughly reported in pages of asylum and migration Danish magazine Vis-a-Vis ( read more about it here) . 

4. Rain forest massive logging in Sierra Leone

Deforestation in Sierra Leone and illegal wood cut is a topic connected to both corruption and climate change issues.  

Exclusive photos and footage taken in Hastings Airfield on 18th of  June, 2018,  show the amount of wood cut and prepared to be shipped to China, despite official timber exports ban decreed by SL Government on 14th of June 2018.

Photo by Issam on IndieFrame

:: see video footage of  deforestation effects ::

5. German journalist abusively arrested by Romanian riot police while reporting | Video |

Gendarmes use spray tear gas against peaceful protestor, 10.08.2018, Piata Victoriei, Bucharest - Photo: Ana Maria Gheorghe | IndieFrame

Freedom of press issues in Romania, during anti-Govt protest: footage recorded by reporter Mihai Ursu captures the moment when German journalist Paul Arna Wagner is brutally arrested while doing his job.

:: watch video ::


*see the moment of the arrest at 0:04 - 0:09 

6. EU refugee crisis in Greece

Greek reporter Giorgos Panagakis has constantly documented the current Mediterranean Sea refugee crisis for IndieFrame. 

After charity workers involved in rescue at sea operations got arrested for saving drowning migrants, back in August 2018, Giorgos documented the street activist pro-refugee movements in Athens, Greece.

Rescue at Sea protestors, 1.09.2018 | Photo - @Giorgos Panagakis

Refugees asking for decent living conditions in Greek camps, 8.10.2018 | Photo: @Giorgos Panagakis

7. Russian surveillance state and censorship

Russian police recording anti-Putin demo in Smolensk, 07.10.17 | Photo: Sergei Komandirov / IndieFrame

As former supporter of counter-candidate for 2018 Russian Presidential elections, Alexei Navalny, IndieFrame reporter Sergei Komandirov documents his fellow colleagues and own story on the repercussions of their freedom of speech.

Sergei was expelled from the University he was studying and is constantly harassed by secret Russian police.

:: read Sergei's full story on IndieFrame post ::

:: read the testimonials on the challenges of being an anti-regime activist in Russia ::  

8.  Modern slavery within the EU 

Agriculture working conditions: picking frozen strawberries at -3°C in Czechia | Photo: @Florian Daniel / IndieFrame

IndieFrame users reported stories in photos and videos about workforce exploitation in two EU states. Two modern slavery cases were exposed through IndieFrame app by Florian Dany (Romanian farm workers in Tuřice, Czechia) and Muntean Adrian ( cases of workers exploited at slaughterhouse in Helmond, Nederlands). 

9. Soldiers show how life (and death) in French Foreign Legion looks like

Risky jobs - IndieFrame offers exclusive images insights of concealed daily life in the French infantry military service, through smartphone soldiers who reported through the app. 

For security reasons, their real names are protected by pseudonyms.

French Legion soldier plays with children during mission in Nigeria, April 2018 :: Photo by @Jf Paul/ IndieFrame

:: see more photos and soldier testimonials on IndieFrame blog ::

10. A close perspective on far right white nationalist groups in the US

A far right 'Proud Boys' protester receives treatment after being maced by a member of Antifa during Patriot Prayer Rally in Portland | Photo - Kinoa Little / IndieFrame

In November, 2018, the FBI now classified the far-right Proud Boys as an “extremist group with ties to white nationalism”, according to a document produced by Washington state law enforcement.

Four months before the federal briefing, IndieFrame reporter Kinoa Little closely documented the clash between the right wing group, left-wing Antifa supporters and riot police in the West Coast city of Portland.

The Proud Boys organized the Patriot Prayer Rally in Portland. The Proud Boys, a far right group supportive of President Donald Trump, used inflammatory language ahead of their rally, with some members promising violence. Counter-protesters led by Antifa confronted the participants of the Patriot Prayer Rally and clashed with police, leading to arrests and injuries.

- Kinoa Little, August 4th, 2018

A Proud Boys leader ushers far right protesters onto a bus for transport back to their commuter lot in Vancouver. Portland Police facilitated the movements of the right-wing groups


Far right protesters jeer at members of Antifa during Patriot Prayer Rally protests in Portland, US

August, 4th, 2018 | Photo - Kinoa Little / IndieFrame


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Cover Photo: Jakob Lee on IndieFrame