AP Thinking About Making Reporters Citizen Journalist Talent Scouts As Well

from the sign-'em-up dept

It’s no secret that various news organizations are working on ways to incorporate more people into the news gathering process — whether you call it “citizen journalism” or “exploiting digital sharecroppers.” Whatever you consider it, it appears the Associated Press is considering a new idea, recognizing that people with camera phones are quite often on various breaking news scenes well before they are. While plenty of other news organizations let people upload photos taken with camera phones and there are some services designed to broker those photos to news organizations, the AP is thinking of giving its own reporters and photographers release documents they can get anyone on the scene to sign, if they’ve taken a decent camera phone shot of a news event. That way, the AP can quickly get a good photo and spread it through their distribution network, even if it wasn’t taken by an AP photographer. Of course, it’s not clear what the terms of the release form are (which is probably because it’s just an idea and hasn’t been written yet), but it’s still a step towards recognizing that it’s not just the “official” press who explains the news any more.

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Comments on “AP Thinking About Making Reporters Citizen Journalist Talent Scouts As Well”

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SearcH EngineSW (user link) says:

Arriving AFTER an Tradegy

Presumably the AP reporter would have to be at the same event as the person with the camera phone – and would NOT this AP reporter also have one – AT LEAST.

Of course, if it is a once in a lifetime shot that the reporter missed – like arriving at the scene of a great accident – it is possible that if the person was approached in a very convincing way, they would be amenable.

But, it must be a very uncomfortable position for anyone to have to be in.

Tyshaun says:

Two issues...

1. Why would the AP even want the crappy camera phone shots anyway?

2. The only I can see with this is your final statement:

but it’s still a step towards recognizing that it’s not just the “official” press who explains the news any more

Now, the issue has come up time and time again about how bloggers and such are not placed under the same criteria as newspapers because of free speech concerns. I think it only fair that if laypeople are someday recognized as news gathers/distributors that they are held to the same standards as professional journalists (whatever they are, looking at the news sometimes I am hard pressed to see any standards).

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