Corbis, one of the largest photo agencies in the world, has agreed to acquire Demotix, a crowd-sourced citizen journalism photo agency that was founded in 2008. Corbis had already picked up a piece of the young agency through an investment last year, but now it has decided to purchase the whole company outright. The acquisition price was not disclosed.
The role Twitter played during Arab Spring in early 2011 gave the microblogging service a huge boost in legitimacy and pushed it into the mainstream. Instagram may be having a similar “coming of age” experience through its role in the ongoing coverage of Hurricane Sandy.
A couple months ago we shared an app called Foap, which allows people who take pictures with their phone to put the images up for sale for $10 a pop. If Foap is the bane of microstock photographers, then Scoopshot is the bane of photojournalists.
It’s an app that helps phone photographers easily sell their images to news organizations. After all, when a local story happens, it’s often random passersby that are on the scene first with phones out and camera apps loaded.
Roughly 50 staffers at CNN were given pink slips today, including nearly a dozen photojournalists. In an email to the staff, Senior VP Jack Womack cited the accessibility of cameras and the growth of citizen journalism as reasons for the terminations:
We also spent a great deal of time analyzing how we utilize and deploy photojournalists across all of our locations in the U.S. [...] We looked at the impact of user-generated content and social media, CNN iReporters and of course our affiliate contributions in breaking news. Consumer and pro-sumer technologies are simpler and more accessible. Small cameras are now high broadcast quality. More of this technology is in the hands of more people. After completing this analysis, CNN determined that some photojournalists will be departing the company.
CNN’s citizen journalism initiative, iReport, has proved extremely valuable as a source of imagery during things like disasters and protests. However, it has also received criticism for not paying for submitted photos — even those that are subsequently broadcast worldwide.
(via The Hollywood Reporter via FilmmakerIQ)
Image credit: CNN by Ayushπ
Picture Post is an interesting (and NASA-funded) citizen science project that turns photographers into citizen scientists, crowdsourcing the task of environmental monitoring. Anyone around the world can install a Picture Post:
A Picture Post is a 4”x4” post made of wood or recycled plastic with enough of the post buried in the ground so it extends below the frost line and stays secure throughout the year. Atop the post is a small octagonal-shaped platform or cap on which you can rest your camera to take a series of nine photographs.
People who walk by can then use the guide on the post to capture 9 photos in all directions, and upload them to the Picture Post website. The resulting panoramas can then be browsed by date, giving a cool look at how a particular location changes over time.
There’s a bit of bad blood going on between user-generated “street journalism” website Demotix and the UK Press Card Authority.
Over the past year, Demotix has issued press passes to select active citizen journalists. But now, the UK Press Card Authority, which issues press credentials for news organizations like BBC and SKY, warned that the press passes are not the same, nor should they be treated similarly to official credentials issued by the Authority. Furthermore, UK Press Card Authority chairman Mike Granatt said he would share his concerns with UK police and authorities, saying that the Demotix passes may appear similar to the official national press passes.
Our concern is that the police and third parties might be misled by the Demotix card. Its intention is confirmed by Demotix’s advice on their website, which suggests ‘ … walking up to the authorities with swagger, then shove the press pass in their face along with “that’s right, I have access to this event” grin on your face’.
No professional journalist would behave like that. And no one should encourage anybody to try to bluster their way past a cordon or into an event with this hobbyists’ ‘press pass’.