People With Cameraphones Killing Paparazzi Business Model
from the how-our-hearts-bleed dept
For quite some time, people have been setting up photo agencies to sell people's cameraphone pictures to media outlets. While images and video from phones have, on certain occasions, been widely used, many of these agencies had previously reported business was slow-going, while people appear to be perfectly happy to send their images directly to news outlets and not worry about getting paid. However, one "top" paparazzo now says everyday people with cameraphones are driving photographers' fees down to new lows (registration required, via MocoNews). With all the talk of how "citizen journalism" is going to revolutionize the media, in reality, things are changing fairly slowly -- but the rise of cameraphone users as on-scene photographers and replacement paparazzi is a notable exception. Of course, some people would argue that this isn't a good thing, and that the rise in citizen paparazzi just leads to a decline in the privacy of celebrities and everybody else. That's not necessarily the case; people's desire to see these sorts of images existed before, and exists separately from, the ubiquity of cameraphones. Technology may simplify distribution, but it doesn't create the appetite for voyeurism on the part of, say, PerezHilton.com readers. Still, if this is the most successful example of citizen journalism, more than anything it's an indictment of the way major media are trying to get their audience to participate, or perhaps even a sign that this concept of "citizen journalism" is a bit flawed. It shouldn't be about citizens replacing journalists or professional photographers, but how everyday people can add to professional reporting and enhance it.