Citizen media

Two of the biggest local media outlets are going great guns encouraging citizen media: The Age and Channel 7, joining in a trend increasingly seen worldwide. Both have been increasingly encouraging contributions in the past couple of years, from web and phone polls to running footage or photos taken by members of the public.

Of course they’ve always accepted good material for stories. Channel 7 won a Quill award for the 2003/04 New Year’s Eve transport debacle story, based on amateur (PTUA) footage. It’s recognition that not only can the mass-media not be everywhere, but with the proliferation of cheap and cheerful digital cameras and camera phones, as well as CCTV footage, no event in the urban parts of the western world is far from somebody’s camera.

Most people would be happy to see “their” event shown to the world. But keep in mind the smallprint. As The Age/Fairfax digital says: you agree, in submitting content to grant to Fairfax Digital to a perpetual, royalty-free, non-exclusive, unrestricted world-wide licence to use, and license others to use, your content.

They can and will make money off your hard work, and all you’ll get is a picture credit and a bill from your SMS provider.

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