Why Rawporter is Important For Citizen Journalism

US Airways Flight 1549 Plane Crash Hudson in N...

US Airways Flight 1549 Plane Crash Hudson in New York taken by Janis Krums on an iPhone

There’s a good chance that many of you who are reading this found my blog after I took the Miracle on the Hudson photo. That photo legitimized Twitter as a breaking news outlet and gave me my 15 minutes of fame. The experience of being on the ferry to rescue the survivors of US Airways Flight 1549 and then finding out that my photo had literally spread around the world in less than 30 minutes was surreal. With that realization came many requests for interviews and more importantly the use of the photo.

I was way over my head when dealing with that, I had no background in it, so I did what I knew. I called few friends who had connections with news folks to get answers  Eventually I got a copyright lawyer and got the photo register and copyrighted. But the process was anything than easy and it took couple of days to get everything done. By then there were numerous outlets running the photo without my permission or at best with my name at the bottom. It was a mess. A mess that cost me real money because I didn’t know what I was doing.

Enter Rawporter, their goal is to help citizen journalists monetize their content. When I write”citizen journalist” I mean anyone with a camera, smartphone, etc. You can be at a farmers market and the local paper wants to buy a photo for $20 or you could capture a once in a lifetime photo and make much more. My point is that anyone can be and will be a citizen journalist. What Rawporter is going to help citizen journalist is the process of selling your content and getting a fair deal for what you have. They have a staff of industry experts who will know exactly what your photo is worth and how to proceed forward. They’re here to help you, not to exploit you. And that’s what every news organization is doing when they ask you to send in your content for free.

And if you are a media outlet, you can push out requests and an army of citizen journalists will be able to send in their work. Think gigwalk, but with breaking news or cool photos. You (media outlet) set the value of the request and see what you you get back. This way you’re getting quality content and aren’t exploiting people out of their content.

As the site grows there will be an extensive library or photos and videos. This will work like Getty/stockphoto, etc… you will be able to buy great citizen journalist content that no one else will have. Search by location, time, event, it will be very powerful and is the future of content for media outlets.

I’m excited for what Rawporter has planned for this year and more excited to be an advisor to such a great company.  Let me know what you think of Rawporter and how citizen journalism will evolve.


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  • http://twitter.com/jenniferhuber Jennifer Huber

    Definitely a cool and long-overdue concept. I’ve registered and perfect timing, I’m heading off to the Inauguration this weekend

    • http://www.janiskrums.com jkrums

      Hi Jennifer, I couldn’t agree more, the app is way overdue. Keep me posted on how you like it.  And what features you’d want to have that it doesn’t offer. 

      Have a great time at the Inauguration!