Knight News Challenge Winner Will Make Oral History App

A more public form of oral history, sure, but JFK found his roots in ancient forms. (Flickr Creative Commons: State Library and Archives of Florida)

We know the tumultuous start that the Twitter video app Vine had with their infusion of porn. With the Internet, journalists have infinite opportunities for trial and error in creating apps and programs for expanding their abilities to tell stories. Perhaps the most ancient and ingrained human form of storytelling is oral history. Many books have adapted this strategy to capturing the essence of an era or situation.

Now, Knight News Challenge winner TKOH wants to create an app to apply to this ancient form. Like Vine, TKOH’s app will benefit citizen storytellers as well as so-called “professional journalists,” those who will be dedicating themselves to such a stature in the future.

“It’s a need we all have,” Kacie Kinzer, of TKOH, told Justin Ellis of the Nieman Lab. “There’s someone we know, a friend, a family member, who has incredible stories that must be kept in some way.”

The app will be for mobile devices.  TKOH, a design studio in New York, won $330,000 from the Knight Foundation.

Porn Hashtag Gets Popular on Twitter App Vine

(Screenshot: USA Today article / Michael Juliani)

The Twitter app Vine offered journalists (professional and citizen alike) a tool for sharing six-second video clips on their feeds. In early demos, Vine CEOs and eager journalists practiced by showing six seconds of the process of making steak tartare and throwing away their coffee cups. But overwhelmingly, users have taken to Vine to post porn on Twitter, according to USA Today.

Tags like #sex and #porn began appearing on the app, and The Verge reported that one porn clip somehow made it as one of Twitter’s Editor’s Picks. (The clip was removed, labeled as a “human error.”)

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As we know, the tools becoming available for citizen journalism are only expanding. While it seems easy to discount Vine for its early rush of X-rated content, perhaps it’s better to say “So what?” After all, journalism will be journalism, and porn will be porn (except if it becomes an Editor’s Pick).

For its part, Twitter released this statement in response:

Users can report videos as inappropriate within the product if they believe the content to be sensitive or inappropriate (e.g. nudity, violence, or medical procedures). Videos that have been reported as inappropriate have a warning message that a viewer must click through before viewing the video.

Uploaded videos that are reported and determined to violate our guidelines will be removed from the site, and the user that posted the video may be terminated.