Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Yahoo and Reuters have launched paparazzi website

Who needs paparazzi when Yahoo! and Reuters make us all photo journalists?
By Stuart Corner

The world's celebrities should be getting nervous. Yahoo and Reuters have launched a website where members of the public can submit photos and videos of news events.

According to a Reuters news report, the two companies have created a news contribution system called "You Witness" which will collect, edit and distribute selected photos and video to other news outlets. Yahoo also plans to run selected images contributed by users as part of topical packages on Yahoo News, which already aggregates news from dozens of professional news organisations including Associated Press, CNN and Reuters.

The two companies have given on indication that the scope of You Witness will be extended to sneak photos of the rich and famous, but given the high price paid for such material, and the likelihood that members of the public will serendipitously get chances to take such shots, it would seem inevitable.

According to Reuters the initial focus is on news, but Yahoo! aims to expand the system to solicit user contributions for sports, entertainment and other sections of its site. Photos and videos can be submitted via or However the only option for submission from the Reuters page is to email the content to While the Yahoo! page has lots of hints and tips on how to shoot good photos and video, there is almost no information on the Reuters page, and neither site has any information on payment, ownership of copyright of submitted material etc.

According to Reuters, it and Yahoo are working out a plan to compensate contributors when their images are selected for commercial syndication. The report quoted Scott Moore, head of news and information at Yahoo Media Group, says that the service could be extended to take text contributions as well as images and video.



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