Technology enables crowdsourced photojournalism

Camera carrying folks have always managed to be around when some news events occurred. A few have even managed to win a Pulitzer just for being in the right place at the right time. But camera enabled cell phones and small digicams have now made it a sure bet that if something big happens someone will get a picture. The low technical quality of these images might have been an issue in the print world but as organizations move to on-line models a 72 dpi jpeg works fine. 

Distribution of crowdsourced imagery has also been an obstacle i.e. you have a great picture now what do you do with it. Sites like Scoopt <; now offer a path for sales and distribution of news images for anyone. 

So does this mean demand for professional photojournalists will decline? Does it mean we (the readers) just get super coverage of events? Does this allow ailing print publications to cut costs and remain competitive?Wired has a great discussion here <;

Here’s a quote from one of the Wired articles: “It’s true that crowdsourcing can bring new life to journalism: through replacement, with pro-am collaborations replacing coverage lost to newsroom cuts; through exploitation, with newspaper execs “harvesting” the wisdom of their community; or through bypass, with the “people formerly known as the audience” banding together to tackle investigations that — for varied reasons — the mainstream press is less eager to address.”

This seems like a match made in heaven… a customer base that not only tells you what it wants but helps you produce it.


~ by keithphilpott on November 14, 2008.

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