Monday, December 04, 2006

Yahoo/Reuters embrace phone photo journalism

The NY Times and GigaOm are both reporting that Reuters and Yahoo will start incorporating UGC pictures and video in their reportage.
Cameraphone users will be able to go to You Witness News from Dec 5 to upload. The pictures will be curated by editors from both Yahoo and Reuters. Interestingly, Yahoo will not pay contributors, whereas Reuters say they will pay for anything that goes out via its' commercial services - it's just not sure how it will work.

The timing is certainly right. Following the oft-cited examples of the tsunami or London train bombings, just look for 'Michael Richards' on google or youtube. Even those not familar with Kramer or Seinfeld couldn't help stumbling across the footage of his racist outburst in a comedy club.

The real interest lies in which brands users will run to with their scoops. If you've captured a video of a newsworthy event, would you instantly want to upload it to Reuters or a Daily newspaper? Or would you rather upload it to Youtube, or your own blog?


  1. My best guess? You'll use the brands that meet three criteria:
    1) Will make you famous 2) will make you money 3) Make it easy for you.
    I'm guessing which element is most important will depend on which is most important to you. The social networking lesson is that No3 leads to No1 and they have more value for most people right now than No2.
    That may change, but the brands that get 3 right fastest get to decide how and when.

  2. I'd agree about the criteria, although not neccessarily in that order.

    I think 3 can be overcome by something which has a big enough mass audience, and possibly payment. For instance, Myspace is, quite frankly, rubbish, but has weight of numbers. Not to say you shouldn't strive to prodive ease of use, but it may not be enough for success.

    I think payment will become increasingly important as pro journalists are replaced by paid amateurs, but I think fame and recognition are overiding at the moment. That's why the BBC gets items sent in, for example.

  3. Ease of use has a lot to do with becoming biggest. imho :D


The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?