If Youre There When News Happens

December 4, 2006

Who can forget the deadly tsunami of December 2004, the London bombings of July 2005, the fury and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on the U.S. Gulf Coast in August and September, 2005?Photo of bombed London bus contributed by Ivan Peredruk  In all those events, some of the most compelling images were taken by amateur photographers and videographers. The same can be said for some events this year, including the arrest outside a New York nightclub of Curtis Jackson, better known in the rap world as 50 Cent, and the crash of a small plane piloted by New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle into a Manhattan apartment building.Now Reuters and Yahoo are announcing a strategic alliance to solicit user-generated news photos and videos, publish them on Reuters.com and syndicate them to Reuters media outlets worldwide. Were starting this week with photos and will add videos later. Heres how it will work: If you see a news event, simply send the picture to You Witness, either by emailing it to pics@reuters.com or visiting the You Witness site at www.reuters.com/youwitness. Reuters editors will review the pictures and select the most newsworthy images for publication on Reuters.com. The very highest quality pictures may be purchased by Reuters and distributed on our professional wire.Our worldwide professional staff and regular stringer photographers will remain at the center of our pictures service. Their talent and their special eye is crucial for a high-quality picture operation. But non-professionals bring their unique point of view and angle, enhancing and adding diversity to our content. In a sense, all the world are potential stringers.So as youre thinking about taking news photographs, think about what constitutes a good picture.Most importantly, it will be of interest to a wide audience. It may depict an event in the news: a train crash, a clash in the streets, deliriously happy fans the moment the big game is won.Or it may not be of a strictly ‘news’ event. It could be an out-of-the-ordinary moment in time in an otherwise ordinary day. Something that has novelty and impact. For example, a model falling over her huge heels on the catwalk, or a fox running up Downing Street, or a fire station catching fire, or a mouse hitching a lift on the back of a toad during a flood.It may be unique. A picture that no one else took has much more news value than one taken alongside a rank of other photographers.A good news picture will tell a story without words. It will have context by showing the surrounding scene, or show the emotion on the faces of the people in the picture.Whatever the content, a news picture can lose its value in a short space of time. News events move quickly, and the shot of a mini tornado you took last week may have been destined for the front page when you took it, but of no interest to a newspaper or a website a week later. There are exceptions if the event is of huge significance and rarity. For example, a photo of a tsunami wave could still be of great interest days after it struck.And please, when you are taking photos for submission to Reuters, do not break the law in any way, harass individuals, put yourselves or other people in danger or obstruct the work of emergency services.Were looking forward to seeing your picturesThomas Szlukovenyi, Global Pictures News Editor, and Dean Wright, Managing Editor and Senior Vice President, Consumer Services.


“You Witness” is all well and good, but there is no information in your article (or in any of the subsequent links) as to who owns the copyright of images submitted to Reuters in this method.

It should be CLEARLY stated whether a shooter is signing away his or her copyrights by providing your company with material.



Great effort! We should get emerging democracies in Asia to participate as contributing netizens! I have created an early awareness alert in this blog entry:

http://www.jeffooi.com/2006/12/new_media _reuters_yahoo_want_u.php


The copyright stays with the contributor when a picture is submitted. If our editors select a picture for use on our regular news picture service we will pay our normal stringer fee and royalties after re-sales and enter into any necessary additional agreements.


Thomas Szlukovenyi

Posted by Thomas Szlukovenyi | Report as abusive


The terms and conditions of submission would appear to suggest otherwise:

“By submitting your Material, you hereby
grant to Reuters and its affiliates a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, transferable and non-revocable right and license to use, reproduce, display publicly, modify, adapt, edit, publish, translate, distribute, perform, play, create derivative works from, exercise and sub-license all associated and relevant rights (including intellectual property rights and publicity rights) with respect to your Material in any media whatsoever, whether now known, or developed in the future (the foregoing license is granted for the entire respective terms of the relevant rights); and
to the extent permitted by law, unconditionally and irrevocably waive all moral rights which you may have in your Material.”

‘Transferable’ generally means may sell or othewise distribute the image to a third party. As does ‘sub-licence’

‘Royalty-free’ means no payment.

Posted by Stephen Rogers | Report as abusive