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.
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’.