FiveARM Crisis Journalism Tool

Project FiveArm - Secure crisis reporting for journalists and investigators

We are creating a secure open source citizen reporting tool and supporting solutions that will record exhaustive, definitive factual data on human security incidents from the world’s crisis zones.

Secure, credible source data for rights defenders, journalists and field workers.


Hello, we’re Project FiveArm, a team of investigators, researchers, citizen journalists, lawyers, media safety trainers, tech specialists and journalists. We’re developing a groundbreaking Android toolthat will allow verified citizen reporting from the world’s most under-reported crisis zones. Using the latest encryption and blockchain technology, eyewitness reporters on the frontlines of conflicts, environmental catastrophes and other humanitarian disasters will be silenced no more.

With your help, we can make this a reality.

FiveARM is informed by more than a decade of frontline experience of clandestine eyewitness journalism and investigations in repressive environments.


FiveArm (Field Investigations Vertically Exhaustive Assessment and Reporting Methodology for Human Security Incidents) will be deployed on secured Android devices, giving verified eyewitness reporters the ability to file to a secure database, where human security incidents can be logged using a questioning methodology meeting the highest legal standards. FiveArm utilises the proven Martus secure information collection and management tool, storing reports on secure servers to ensure that the data remains unreadable by unauthorised users.

End users - be they journalists, lawyers, investigators, rights workers or researchers - will then have access to reliable and comprehensive data on incidents and a suite of tools for data analysis and verification.

The eventual aim of Project FiveARM is to future-proof integration with qualitative machine learning and analysis, supporting real time monitoring and reporting of human security incidents with legal standard evidence collection.  


 In 2016 Project FiveArm was fortunate enough to win a Walkley Foundation grant for Innovation in Journalism which helped cover initial start-up costs. We now need your help to keep the project running, and pay for specialised equipment as we move towards finalising development in preparation for field testing.

Your Contribution will enable this critical tool to be developed and rolled out to the places that need to be reported.


Projects such as FiveARM do require significant resources to qualitatively assess and test the usability and accuracy of the questioning, provide the hardware to enable the data to be secure and safely utilised in the places it is needed, and of course pay people for their labour.

Given the remote, dangerous and difficult situations that Project FiveARM is attempting to address with our Tool, we will be requiring secure specialist equipment, and logistics support to test it to robust field and realisitc scenario conditions.   

This campaign is to support the overall budget, but work is ongoing for the project reagrdless.

A breakdown of our needs and projected costs is below.

*this infographic is for our total budget which is including grant applications for specific tasks.  Our crowdfunding target is $60K.

FiveARM’s work centres around the following issues:

·         Creating a library of structured data points for mutually exclusive abuse and objective fact definitions using tags of controlled vocabularies;

·         Survey Design to ensure maximum elicitation given intercultural and intersectional media/information ecology compatibility;

·         Integration of the JournoTriage Material Conditions Graduated Response Matrix for clear identification of crisis journalism safety levels, with responses for safe and effective coverage;

·         Integration of visual identification tools for interviewing non-literate or inexpert witnesses or victims;

·         Integration of the ReputaChain Source Reputation Blockchain solution.

How we will achieve this is below:


FiveArm’s people include broadcast and investigative journalists, filmmakers, editors, human rights investigators, lawyers, environmental advocates and scientists, programmers, blockchain and digital security specialists, survey design specialists, academics, anthropologists, refugee workers, peacekeepers, and one or two former intelligence agents. Many of those involved with FiveARM cannot be named for security reasons.  The already growing team behind FiveARM represents more than 20 collaborators so far, including:.

Nick Chesterfield
Project FiveARM’s initiator and coordinator, Nick is a human rights journalist, digital journalism safety trainer, and co-founding Editor of the clandestine witness journalism project WestPapuaMedia. He has provided support and training to indigenous journalists, environmental and human rights defenders across Indonesia, Timor, Melanesia and Aboriginal Australia for two decades, specifically focusing on the provision of credible information collection, citizen media safety, and civil resistance journalism.

Hugo O’Connor
Hugo is co-founder and head of innovation of Bit Trade Australia, the nation’s leading fixed-price bitcoin exchange. Prior to that, Hugo started and ran a not-for-profit juice company whose aim was to support public interest journalism. He currently works as a software developer at Bit Trade Labs, a blockchain product incubator.

Citt Williams
An international documentary filmmaker and environmental scientist who has been working closely with indigenous storytellers for 15 years, Citt will contribute to survey design and question iterations, looking specifically at the way information is structured in the project, and addressing intercultural media ecology issues of how people respond to interview processes and information sharing, amongst other contributions.

Daniel Pye
Daniel is an investigative journalist and researcher based in Asia. He has spent the past six years reporting from the Middle East and Southeast Asia on issues ranging from illegal deforestation to land rights and conflict. As part of the Project FiveARM team, Dan contributes towards FiveARM’s financial sustainability, technical development and grassroots implementation.

Any amount will assist this project move forward, and all monies will be put towards our critical costs.

If you would like to get involved, we are also looking for more coders and journalism innovators to get involved, as well as translators, video producers, graphic designers and fundraisers.

Thank you for your help from the Project FiveArm team.


Project FiveARM
Newtown NSW

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