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Pocket Reporter

HELP WANTED: We don't have the capacity to maintain this app. We're looking for community volunteers to help us out and keep it going. Please email if you're interested.

PocketReporter is an mobile app for Android devices that helps you be a better reporter by guiding you through the news gathering process.

PocketReporter is a simple client-only Javascript app based on Backbone.js and built using Phonegap Build.

The app branch is the app itself, the gh-pages branch is the website.

Local development

Local development uses the PhoneGap simulator.

  1. Clone the repo and cd into the repo directory
  2. Switch to the app branch: git checkout app
  3. Download the PhoneGap app
  4. Run PhoneGap and add the PocketReporter directory, and start the app in PhoneGap
  5. Visit the URL shown in PhoneGap

You can also use any local webserver that servers files from the filesystem. We use Jekyll.

  1. Check out the repo and app branch as above
  2. Start any local webserver, such as Jekyll: jekyll server
  3. You can also use python: python -m SimpleHTTPServer 4000
  4. Open www/js/main.js and uncomment the line that says // this.onDeviceReady();
  5. Visit the site in your browser: http://localhost:4000

Updating translations

  1. Download the translations file from
  2. Make a note of the language code (eg. en-za or xh)
  3. Import it into js/l10n.js by running:
    python --file download.csv --language LANGUAGE_CODE
  4. Check the new strings in the app
  5. Sanity check the changes using git diff
  6. Commit as usual

Building and deploying

Phonegap is built on Phonegap Build by pulling directly from the app branch of the repo.

License and Copyright

Copyright (c) 2016, 2017 OpenUp

Licensed under the MIT license.

The Pocket Reporter name and logo are Copyright 2016 OpenUp, and may not be used without permission.


Pocket Reporter is the brainchild of Raymond Joseph and is inspired by the Virtual Reporter tool by Kanthan Pillay.

The logo is a derivative of this Freepik icon.

You're welcome to re-use this code to build your own application, provided you give it a new name and logo, provide attribution to Pocket Reporter and OpenUp, and follow the requirements of the MIT License.


Superceded by | A tool for helping young reporters write better stories.








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