The Paris-based citizen photojournalism agency Citizenside has partnered with Metro International to launch a new website for citizen reporting.
The site, MetroReporter, allows readers to upload and share their news photos and video. All contributions are vetted by editors before being posted. If they are published in print or on Metro's primary site, the member is paid between €10 and €70. Membership of MetroReporter is free and Metro has agreed to purchase and publish user contributions on a regular basis. This means that an international publication has plans to regularly pay its audience to contribute content, rather than expecting user-generated content to be free.
MetroReporter is part of the MetroFrance site, exposing it to the publication's high traffic. This is a pilot project in France and there are plans to establish similar sites in seven other countries.
Co-founder of Citizenside Matthieu Stefani said in a press release: "Thanks to advances in technology, the first images from the scene of a breaking news story are often taken by amateurs. Citizenside has developed tools to collect, verify, and present amateur content since 2005, to accompany traditional media in this new universe. The idea is to encourage quality amateur contributions and to animate a community of citizens passionate about news. Our partnership with Metro International, the largest international newspaper, is a great achievement and we are very proud to be working with them."
Citizenside also recently formed a partnership with French radio station RTL, which has launched the website Témoins RTL (RTL Witnesses). This site allows users to upload photos and videos, and if other media organisations wish to purchase them, RTL sells the images and then pays their creator. The site uses geo-location and users who have provided their place of residence can receive email alerts about events that are taking place nearby.
Citizenside, which describes itself as a broker between citizen reporters and media professionals, already offers a Reporter Kit service that helps news publications to harness user-generated news content. It has other partnerships with freesheet 20 Minutes as well as gossip publications and a television news network. It also offers applications for iPhone and Android.
Sources: Citizenside press release, RTL