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04 August 2005

"Happy snapping" ?

Scoopt is a new photo agency, but one with a difference. Members of the public sign up with their cameraphones, and next time they see some news, they zap it and get Scoopt to tout it to the papers for them. Speaking to Netimperative, Scoopt's Kyle MacRae said: "The shocking events in London on 7th and 21st July brought citizen journalism into sudden, sharp focus, demonstrating once and for all that images taken by members of the public can be startling and evocative. Citizen journalism is here to stay and set to change the nature of news.”
Not only does this raise more than a few questions about authenticity and quality, but to my mind, it's yet another example of news increasingly being governed more by pure immediacy than actual news-worthiness. There's definitely a place for it, but given that it's suited to 'celebs and disasters' (Scoopt make no bones about it with their website cover shot), is it also encourgaing prurient interest and knee-jerk coverage which doesn't really serve the end user as well as professional and considered reporting would? What do you reckon? (would be interesting to hear more from some of our pro snapper colleagues!)

2 Comments:

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At 1:27 pm, Blogger Pete Jenkins said...

The financial incentive to stalk celebrities has not just appeared with ‘Citizen Journalism’, or since July 2005. There have been a string of television programmes, which have extolled the virtues of ‘papping’, not to mention the various newspapers ‘Diana’ or ‘kiss and tell’ exposes with figures mentioned in the tens if not hundreds of thousands. Those of us who actually know what we are talking about are aware that newspapers pay crap day rates – same as 1994 in most cases, and that these very rare ‘high content’ payouts happen once in a blue moon – and not to ‘Chavs’ with a mobile phone. The idea that there are regular big payouts to photographers is a total myth. There are always people who think that newspaper photographers earn good money, and that the newspapers pay silly money for pictures – I just wish it were true!

There is a place for agencies like Scoopt, who will hopefully organise the wishful amateurs/camera phone users, but I am sure that Kyle and his partners will be the first to confirm that these huge payouts are aspirational and not the daily bread and butter.

 

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