NowPublic Tools

Voice Reports

Everyone and their lap dog’s got a cell phone, right? Why not put those puppies (the phones and the dogs with phones) to good use? Leave a voice message at 1.866.225.9530 to tell us what’s going down in your area.

No net? No problem: Not needed! See a steam pipe explode in Midtown Manhattan? Call us. Steve Jobs slips on a banana peel and breaks his iPhone? People want to know!

What happens when you leave a message?

This part’s like that magic trick when your Uncle Morty steals your nose, only faster. As soon as you leave a message on our voice mail, your report is automatically uploaded to our “Just In” page. Your message is quickly converted to an audio file and—get this—transcribed by an automated system. In a few magical seconds, your report is now public (tee hee) and ready for the world to hear—and read!

Some tips on leaving your message:

Because 10,000 tiny robots are transcribing your Voice Report it’s best to speak slowly and clearly so they catch every word. Start by telling us who you are (by using your NowPublic Username) and where you’re reporting from; this could be a city, a country, an event or all three. In other words: Who, What, Where. The tiny robots can recognize most of the countries and cities on our network and many popular events will already be tagged on the site. You may want to use a format like this:

“Hi this is mtippett, reporting on Mobile Journalism from the Mesh Conference in New York.”

Voila! You’ve covered your bases and given listeners an idea of what kind of story we’re dealing with. Good start! Now you can give us the details.

Using your mobile number:

The best way to align your report with your member name is to enter your mobile number in your member profile. We know what you’re thinking, but don’t worry. We’re not going to phone you; we’re not your mother (you should call her, by the way). That way, if you’re calling us from somewhere noisy or you forget to ID yourself, your story is still going to be yours. And later, you can easily get in to edit the transcription. After all, even 10,000 tiny robots make mistakes. If we don’t know who you are, the story will be filed under “voicereporter” and you can find it that way.

To set it up, go to your member page and select the settings tab. Under your Mobile Phone Settings you can enter your mobile phone number. Click Submit Account Settings at the bottom of the page. Voila! You’re officially a NowPublic voice reporter. Congratulations!

Set up your mobile phone number on NowPublic now.

Is it really that easy?

In a word: Yes. Whenever you witness breaking news you’re ready to share it. If you pair this up with our Mobile Upload tool and a camera phone you’ve got a news crew right in your pocket (minus the desk—sharp corners). Channel 5’s got nothing on you, so get out there and keep your eyes peeled for the great stories happening everywhere, everyday.

Want to learn more about what makes a good story? Check out our Actual News Guy’s Journalism Tips.

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