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Bambuser offers free premium accounts to citizen journalists

Bambuser, the live-streaming smartphone app, has announced it will be offering its premium service for free to citizen journalists and activists.

Their premium usage tier usually starts at €99 per month and can cost up to €499 per month. The new premium for citizen journalists will offer unlimited hours of streaming, unlimited storage and an ad-free player. There is also an option to allow Associated Press to make footage available to their media outlets.

Posting on their blog, they said:

At Bambuser we truly believe in free speech and democracy. Over the past years we’ve seen more and more activists and citizen journalists use Bambuser to broadcast real-time information about activities and events when they happen. We think that user generated content broadens the overall picture of what’s actually going on, and is needed to complement professional news reporting.

When traditional media has little or no possibilities to have journalists on site, user generated live streams are essential.

Speaking to The Next Web, Bambuser’s executive chairman Hans Eriksson explained the decision:

We don’t believe ads combined with protests, demonstrations and war-like situations are proper. We know ads are also an issue for the broadcaster as he/she wants the cleanest possible video out. To us, these people are important users and if we can help them to a better total experience in what they’re doing we’re very satisfied.

Bambuser has been used heavily by citizen journalists and activists around the world and came to prominence during the Arab Spring last year. Since then it has been used to monitor the parliamentary elections in Egypt and cover the Occupy Wall Street movement. After footage from the violence in Homs was used by broadcasters around the world the Syrian government blocked the service on its 3G mobile networks.

Citizen journalists and activists can apply for the premium account by emailing info@bambuser.com with their username and a brief description of what they do.

Bambuser is a previous Journalism.co.uk app of the week.

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#Tip: Follow Sky News reporter in using Bambuser to livestream video

March 30th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Mobile

Here is an idea for all journalists: use Bambuser to broadcast a livestream video from your phone.

The app and mobile site allows you to stream video from no less than 360 mobile phone models.

Sky News North of England correspondent Nick Martin yesterday used his iPhone to livestream a report on queues at fuel stations.

It wasn’t broadcast live or aired later on Sky news on this occasion but enabled Martin to share live footage with his Twitter followers. A total of 45 watched it live, with current viewer stats standing at 443.

He told Journalism.co.uk:

We’ve been covering the fuel problems at forecourts across the country.

It was just a case of going past a forecourt and seeing pretty lengthy queues of 50 or 60 cars and not having a cameraman with me.

It’s a way of getting pictures in real time to Twitter followers or to a news desk.

The quality sometimes isn’t great but a way of people being able to plug into what you’re doing as a reporter.

Martin said he saw real value in the possibilities during a breaking news story, such as the riots, of the channel broadcasting the phone footage live.

Martin explained that Sky News has its own technology to allow reporters to sent high quality phone video footage to the newsdesk.

Hans Eriksson from Bambuser told Journalism.co.uk:

Bambuser has been used by several smaller local media outlets in the UK over the last year but this is the first time it’s been used this way by a nationwide media.

Bambuser is a previous app of the week for journalists.

Nick Martin spoke about his innovative uses of apps at last month’s news:rewired conference for journalists.

Here are Martin’s three pieces of advice for journalists considering using mobile phones for reporting. The liveblog of the session is at this link.

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