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Photographers and Artists

Citizen Reporter

Looks like we have a few photographers and artists in our midst so here's a place to talk about all photography, art, and related subjects.

Citizen Reporter

Postby Mike » Sat 24 Feb 2007 20:03 GMT

This is now a plague in the UK, and I presume it has permeated to all parts of the globe.

This is where TV companies encourage members of the public to send in images, usually captured almost unrecognisably by mobile phone, and indeed stories in their local area, in exchange for two seconds of fame.

It was bad enough when the local newspaper stopped paying for pics and stories, because it was getting them for nothing. But now ITV and the BBC are doing it. Yes, the BBC. The same BBC that's putting up our licence fee again. That BBC rarely uses bona fide freelance contributions now. It relies on its citizens reporter section of its website.

This is exploitation. Every person who offers a picture or a story to the media is entitled to a fee. The whole concept of citizen reporting is illegal, and breaches copyright law.

Am I a voice in the wilderness?

(Let me answer my own question - probably yes. I doubt I'll get many responses to this post, because it is serious.)

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Postby Kay » Sat 24 Feb 2007 21:09 GMT

I doubt I'll get many responses to this post, because it is serious.

Que? :shock:

We discuss quite a lot of serious issues on the BE fora - emigration for one.

I agree on the point you're making, though, about Citizen Reporter. I noticed recently that the Guardian had started an expat section and I was keen to have a look. Unfortunately it was a big disappoinment - all reader contributed content, and all in all a very poor offering from such an otherwise good paper..

But Interent business models change all the time, so perhaps this trend won't last.
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Postby ruggie » Sun 25 Feb 2007 22:16 GMT

We're fighting a losing battle, Mike. For years, the New York Times has been paying professional journalists peanuts. My French photographic mags have been carrying stories about the demise of professional photojournalism for a year now. The successful freelancers are mostly working in niches where amateurs can't afford the time or the money, and they spend more time on digital postprocessing than they ever did in darkrooms.
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