Video citizen journalism community NewsFlare is coming from London, UK. It is a global news project that promotes video journalism and involves people who love video news. This is new place and new opportunity for citizens who already are journalists, who have skills and those who just love to take videos. Newsflare invites everyone to upload and get reward.
In the following interview their Co-founder and Commercial Director Bevan Thomas will present this rising website and talk about Newsflare’s plans, ideas and activities.
Q: What is Newsflare and how it works?
A: Newsflare is a destination for people, both freelance video journalists and members of the public to send their newsworthy videos when they want them to get proper recognition and reward.
We also provide a place for news organisations to go when they want to quickly source, verified videos from the public. Newsflare aims to be the destination for content that is *Too breaking*, *Too remote* or *Too local*to be covered in traditional ways. Reporter members can also receive targeted, paid assignments from both Newsflare and our news organisation partners.
Q: And what is Newsflare Academy ?
A: It is our ambition to build a community with an understanding of journalistic values and the skills to capture a higher standard of video than the general public. Initially the Newsflare Academy will have tutorials both written and video but we help to build this over time to include links to training courses and other content to help our members get the most form Newsflare.
Q: In what way are you connected to the citizen journalism ?
A: We are a video citizen journalism network – but we specifically deal with video and all our videos are geo-tagged to help them be found easier. There are no barriers or criteria to submission we want as many people as possible to engage with the platform. News comes in many forms and we want to give our members a chance to tell their stories via video.
Q: How do you see citizen journalism and citizen media, both in UK and worldwide ?
A: The explosion of the web and other digital technology over recent years has be a fantastic force for democratising the news process and allowing people who historically struggled for a voice to get their message out. However this abundance of content brings with it its own challenges and makes the job that professionals need to do in filtering and making sense of all this information even more important. I think we are going through a period of adjustment however I’d have to say citizen journalism in its many forms has never looked healthier.
Q: Today, at the time of the new age journalism, you are doing one of the most popular types of journalism – video journalism. What are your goals and expectations ?
A: For us we felt it was the most under explored element of citizen journalism and therefore the one with the most opportunity. There are many citizen platforms out there focusing on the written word and on still images but most video sharing sites have really great citizen news video lost in a sea of other content. We very much want to be a global brand and to become the online destination people associate with online amateur news video. It’s early days and we have a lot of work to get the word out but we believe we’ve built a great platform but really want input the citizen journalism community on how we can make it even better.
Q: You have an interesting way of paying. Tell us more about your Reporter Reward Programme .
A: The principle behind Newsflare is that if content uploaded to the site is used elsewhere the member will always get paid something for it. However we only expect a small proportion of content to be distributed elsewhere. The Newsflare reward programme means that members earn points for engaging with the site (uploading good videos, making helpful comments etc) regardless of whether their clips are sold. However these points allow you to move up tiers (initially bronze, silver, gold, Pro) and the higher your tier the bigger the % of the money you receive when your clips are sold. This starts at 50% but can get as hi as 80% for ‘Pro’ members. Members will also be given a range of additional features and privileges based on their member level which we’ll build out over time.
Q: You also have a Newsflare App ?
A: We do, we’ve initially launched and iPhone App but will be following this with and Android version in a couple of months’ time. The app allows the viewing of all Newsflare content specifically interesting is using the map to browse content near where you are. It also allows the quick and easy upload of geo-tagged, time codded video clips. Finally it allows our members to receive targeted geographically specific assignments from Newsflare or our partner organisations.
Q: How do you see citizen journalism in the future ?
A: I expect it will continue to play an increasingly bigger part of the news product we see around. The news was once a one directional stream of information it’s now very much a multi-dimensional, 2 way dialogue between news outlets and their audience.
Q: What are your plans for Newsflare in the future ?
A: We believe we’ve gone live with a great product but we have a whole raft of features and improvements already in the pipeline. Now we’re in live Beta we’re really eager to get as much feedback as possible from users out there so we can continue to refine the platform considering the needs of the people who we be best placed to judge Newsflare – our members!