8 thoughts on “Everyone is a photo journalist”

  1. Two thoughts.

    1. It’s really great to see Reuter’s participating. Especially after their problem with fraudulent photo retouching issue last summer, it’s good to see them open to the idea of user generated stuff. I would have expected it under a subsidiary or something though just to distance it from their regular news photographs, if/when something goes wrong. When I met with Getty earlier this year, their editorial reputation was the number one reason why they were not doing something with user generated photos.

    2. It’s kind of BS with Yahoo! and Reuters saying that you won’t get paid or maybe you’ll get paid but on a to be determined basis. Yahoo and Reuters are both for profit companies that would theoretically benefit financially from your photos. This is different than Flickr where people simply choose to share. There is outside revenue being created by this content. At minimum they should say that users whose content is sent to Reuter’s print channel will receive minimum $100 or $250 or whatever.

    Personally as a photographer I have no problem giving some content away where I feel good about the person I’m giving it to. Blogs, small news outlets, friends, yes. But I doubt I’m going to let Reuters use my photos for free and I’d imagine a lot of the best freelancers will stay away for this reason. These are the people you want submitting. The average person who captures a news shot once every 10 years will not submit to this. They don’t know about it and are not geeky enough. Also they erroneously think that their image is worth a lot more than it is. Unless you have the moment of impact of the World Trade Center disaster editorial news photos are not worth all that much and the images have a very short shelf life at that.

    Yahoo/Reuters would be better off at least putting some minimum financial payment terms on the table to attract the serious freelancers who might be inclined to try this service out. This should be a core audience for a service such as this, but this audience does not work for free or for the promise of maybe getting paid.

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  3. As far as addressing the biggest challenge, there are wireless applications, such as Pictavision 6.0, that have the one-click upload ability mastered. Exclaim launched Pictavision 6.0 on major carriers in October and the company works with major carriers to accelerate the capture and sharing of images from camera phones.

    User-generated content is a necessary addition for these news sources.

  4. Shozu should build in some ‘magic options’ that are centrally updated, so that when a big event happens, the various wire services can get a channel presented to the user when they are uploading the photo. E.g. Send to ‘Reuters-Tube Fire story’. It would, of course, have to be somewhat location aware.

  5. Om, the biggest issue here are fraud, ethics, and the question of how to manage the new crodws of rubbernecks at every site of a car crash and every other “newsworthy” incident. There was no lack of user generated material so far when it came to events like 9/11 or the crash of the concorde. And while the local TV stations make anything “newsworthy” of what they have gotten some crappy video footage, I’m wondering what “news” will be in a couple of years. I’m already fed up with that kind of infoporn.

  6. Yahoo and Reuters are a tad late to the party. BBC News, which is one of the world’s most popular news sites, has been doing this for a very long time. The copyright is owned by the sender and attributed by the BBC but the owner grants BBC News “a royalty-free, non-exclusive licence to publish and otherwise use the material in any way that we want, and in any media worldwide .. may include the transmission of the material by our overseas partners”. There is no question of addressing ‘how to upload’. People can email the photos to an email ID or they can send a multimedia text to a given mobile number.

    Payment? What payment? Is this not about everybody living the portentous 15-minutes of fame predicted by Andy Warhol?

  7. Seems a logical move. This is the way of the future. Traditional media needs to embrace citizen journalism which has really taken off. Ideally traditional news outlets need a good mix of the new and the old style of reporting.

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