Is Asking Users For Their Cameraphone Pics The Best Reuters Can Come Up With?

from the reheat-the-leftoavers dept

As news organizations look to evolve their strategy, there seems to be a lot of interest in crowdsourcing the news. Maybe it’s because it’s a hot buzzword, and these companies are desperate to look cutting edge, or maybe it’s just that the idea of having the crowd write the news, as opposed to paid journalists, appeals to the guys in accounting. It seems like the latter is likely, if only because the ideas that they’ve been coming up with don’t seem particularly innovative. Take the latest project from Reuters and Yahoo to have users submit their cameraphone pictures of newsworthy events, whereupon they may be syndicated. How many times has this been tried before? As it is, a newspaper can already accept pictures that an individual takes, if they’re the best shot of something newsworthy. The challenge is in convincing the people who have the best photos of newsworthy events to submit their pictures, as opposed to say just uploading them themselves to a site like Flickr. They’re hoping that dangling the possibility of a payment, if the picture gets chosen for distribution, will offer enough of an incentive. It’s doubtful that they’ll be able to accomplish this, as it appears the company is just looking for publicity, evidenced by the fact that they’re calling the program You Witness News, which sounds vaguely familiar.

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Comments on “Is Asking Users For Their Cameraphone Pics The Best Reuters Can Come Up With?”

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Rob says:


The BBC has been doing this for some time, and to the point where they now have a entire user-generated photo section of the site.

Exactly. At the bottom of every BBC story I read it’s always had a “send us your stuff about this story” message. Always thought it was clever. TBH, this isn’t anything new, but it is a great way for people to get more involved in the world around them.

SimplyGimp says:

Well duh...

Who didn’t see this coming? It’s a source of free pictures! Not a single news company would let this go past without at least trying to get it to work for them.

It doesn’t help that the American public is dying for a chance to have their name on TV or something similar. This is just the chance everyone has been looking for! Yeah, it’s pathetic that people don’t realize they’re being used, but humans have been that way for thousands of years. Nothing changes.

So, as much as you people might claim you wont send them pictures, there’s thousands of times more people that will send them some crappy, washed out, blurred camera phone pic or video just in hopes of having their footage aired on the news…

|333173|3|_||3 says:

It could be usefull in real breaking news (terrorist attack, train/plane crash), since the odds of a cameraman being there are slim, but it is likely that there will be people with cameraphones around. if people know that they might get some cash for the effort of taking a picture, the papers can get photographs of the events taking place. Even better would be to video the event, since then the papers can choose stills, and the TV news can show the full clip.

Paul says:

This is actually an incredibly awesome idea, however just like every other “technology” it has it’s place.

obviously I don’t want average Joe taking a picture of Mcdonald’s and writing a “news story” about how a rude employee didn’t give him enough ketchup


This would be perfect for traffic reports. The news can’t be on top of every traffic jam and they usually only report ones that involve huge accidents or have a long duration on a busy road (like a freeway accident that gets backed up for miles)

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