FiveARM Crisis Journalism Secure Reporting tool

Journalists banned and hunted by state terror, running amok.  Human rights Defenders targeted.  Remote rugged areas. Thousands of arrests. Peoples rising, yet voices silenced.  Witness journalism happens, but powerful voices mock it and deny its credibility.  A call for freedom wilfully ignored.  Journalism unable to be used by international agencies, because it contains narrative and follows a storyline.  How do we change this? What if there is a way to prove the veracity of source information using a process that weeds out weaponised disinformation?
Project FiveARM – Field Investigations Vertically Exhaustive Assessment and Reporting Methodology for Human Security Incidents – establishes a definitive, scientific information gathering process. It shows that if credible facts can be recorded on the ground exhaustively, at every human security incident, there could be no more denials, no more dark places.
Five Strong Arms of journalism, w5h transformed to who did what to whom when where and how, facts to help the voiceless roar. A simple mobile tool to enable the voiceless to safely deliver credible source information, with controlled vocabulary , mutually exclusive definitions, parameter analysis and reporting that journalists can trust, international agencies can action, and researchers can utilise.

The project is informed by over 10 years of Frontline experience in clandestine witness journalism in repressive environments such as West Papua.  From those remote places well off the grid, that the real truth rarely emerges from, and when it does, it gets ridiculed by outsiders who cannot be bothered to make the effort to go there to see that what is being told is real..

Nothing like this has been proposed before, but our team has the experience of a wide range of information and journalism disciplines to bring it into action. FiveARM is a simple yet comprehensive information collection and source interrogation methodology using secure proven softwares currently available to be used effectively in secured Mobile Journalism environments.
The project was initiated by Nick Chesterfield, human rights journalist and digital journalism safety trainer, and founder of WestPapuaMedia and eyeSAFEMojo Safe Witness Journalism Project.    The already growing team behind FiveARM represents over 20 collaborators so far, in Papua and globally, in the fields of:
  • frontline, investigative, indigenous, video, citizen, photo and news journalism;
  • human rights, environmental and human security investigators and lawyers;
  • media safety trainers, advocates and enablers;
  • digital security and encryption specialists,
  • statisticians, anthropologists and scientific information process developers
  • mobile journalism innovators
  • and digital verification and blockchain specialists;   to name a few. 

As this will become an Open Source collaborative project we invite anyone with the skills, new ideas and passion to join with us to overcome some of the simple challenges that still need to be met, to make this tool a reality.

Project FiveARM is happy to announce that it is supported by the 2016 Walkley Grants for Innovation in Journalism.  FiveARM Crisis Journalism Secure Reporting Tool will get accurate reports from hard to access crisis areas by connecting eyewitness accounts with simple, secure & tested smartphone technology. Now we have the Walkley Grant, we are excited to begin the process toward rolling out the open source phases of the project.

This project is just beginning. FiveARM will soon launch a major crowdfunding presence to enable the fast and sustainable development and deployment of this much-needed tool, and to pay for the smooth escalation of the next phases and the equipment and training to roll this out. We absolutely are looking for coders and journalism innovators to get involved, as well as translators, video producers, graphic designers, and of course professional crowdfunding and grant fundraisers.

Keep watching us here at FiveARM for updates.

Without FiveARM, impunity will continue to reign. With FiveARM, we’ll have a tool that might just mean no more dark places.
We need your help to make that hope a reality.

You can donate to develop the project further by clicking on the button below.  A major crowdfunding campaign is now live at GoFundMe.


Project FiveArm:

Secure Crisis Reporting for Journalists and Investigators


More to this story, very soon.  Please stay tuned for updates by subscribing to the page. 



Project FiveARM was originally supported by the 2016 Walkley Grant for Innovation in Journalism

Project FiveARM Blog

During the development of Project FIVEARM, project participants will bring updates, musings and discussions about all the different aspects of fact collection and verification, source credibility, blockchain developments and all the other issues that we are examining to bring a secure crisis reporting tool to fruition.

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We invite readers to comment, ask questions and get involved!


Can a Secure Crisis Journalism tool combat the fake news cyclone? Introducing Project FiveARM, a comprehensive secure source/field data verification collaboration.

April 2017 By Nick Chesterfield, Project FiveARM Coordinator How can we use technology to cover crises better? Nick Chesterfield introduces Project FIVEARM, a collaboration between journalists, human… Read more “Can a Secure Crisis Journalism tool combat the fake news cyclone? Introducing Project FiveARM, a comprehensive secure source/field data verification collaboration.”

Who are We?

FiveARM’s people include Broadcast and Investigative Journalists, Film-makers, Editors, Human Rights investigators, Lawyers, Environmental advocates and scientists, Blockchain, Coding and Digital Security Specialists, Survey Design specialists, academics, an anthropologist or two, Refugee workers, Peacekeepers, and even former intelligence agents who have rebelled against the Dark Side. Women, Men, and a few other non-binaries.

These members currently come from a wide variety of social backgrounds including, People of Colour, marginalised frontline communities, and indigenous people from across Pacific (Including West Papua, PNG, and Aboriginal Australia), Indonesia, Australia, NZ, Europe, US/Canada. We will be reaching out to further constituencies as the project progresses, including demobilised, de-radicalised and rehabilitated abusers.

Obviously the majority of our people cannot be named publicly for their field security, and ability to keep reporting from these repressive environments, however our core team that can be identified so far, include:

Wire 2017-04-06 at 21.53.40
Daniel Pye

Daniel Pye

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 hopes to contribute towards FiveARM’s financial sustainability, technical development and grassroots implementation.

Citt Williams’ avatar

Citt Williams

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

Hugo O’Connor

Hugo O’Connor

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.

Hugo says, “What appeals to me about the FiveARM project is how it is using technology to amplify the voices of those who for too long have been voiceless. I’m hoping to help build out a source reputation system to assist journalists to find the most important stories.”

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 over the last 20 years, specifically focusing on the provision of credible information collection, citizen media safety, and civil resistance journalism.

You can view the Walkley Foundation’s Letter of support for Project FiveARM here

Contact the Team

We invite you to please contact the FiveARM team to get involved, ask questions, offer funding or donations, either via the Form (Please note, the form is not secure or encrypted) at the bottom of the page, or directly to the Project Coordinator, Nick Chesterfield, at +61498239896, or via email fivearm(@) (For a secure connection, our GPG Public Encryption Key can be downloaded from ) .  The project contact hours are on Papuan and Australian time, and is based in Australia.

As this will become an Open Source project, we will be welcoming collaborators. We are utilising Semaphor by Spideroak as our secure, zero-knowledge, fully encrypted  online collaboration workspace.  Please set up your own installation and contact us for an invite code into the team. (Of course, even though this project will eventually become Open Source, Team membership is subject to Confidentiality Agreement regarding sensitive project arrangements, internal communications, member identities and tasks).