Tag Archives: Demotix

DNA09 – Economically distressed but making the most of it

It started off bleakly, but the talk got more positive as the participants warmed up. These are four digital leaders, driving forward ambitious online projects in their respective countries:

  • Eric Echikson, Google’s senior manager for communications in Brussels
  • Katharina Borchert, chief editor of the online newspaper DerWesten.de and also the managing director of WAZ NewMedia
  • Pierre Haski, president of the society and editor-in-chief of the online French newspaper, Rue89

In a discussion led by Richard Gizbert, the panel discussed their hopes for opportunism in a dire economic climate.

Starting with a gloomy video reminder of the demise of the Rocky Mountain News, the panel were then probed on their own thoughts and experiences.

Katharina Borchert, from WAZ media, said the last 3-5 years have been a real opportunity, despite the fact they’re currently laying off a third of their staff.

To be using user-generated content in the way they are would have been unthinkable three years ago, she said.

Web is no longer an add-on, she said. There’s ‘more freedom to create content for the web’.

Video is the most popular content on their site, she added.

Pierre Haski, who left his job at Liberation newspaper to set up the independent French newspaper, realised the opportunity for different types of conversations with readers.

“Through blogging you reconnect with your readers. We tried to develop a model of participative news website, where readers could contribute to news process,” he explained.

After failing to sell the idea to Liberation, he and other colleagues left to launch Rue89.

“Not only will we survive the crisis but we will make money next year,” he said.

Then, Munthe, who set up his agency Demotix in a bid to source citizen journalism from around the world to counter what he perceived as a lack of original foreign news content.

“The flip side of the doom and gloom there are all sorts of opportunities out there,” he said.

He’s not worried about the content control, as editing happens within the process. “Who figured out three columns of smoke was wrong? Bloggers. That’s exactly what Demotix is trying to replicate.”

Demotix tries to bring together collaborative voices to self-correct stories and content, Munthe explained.

Telegraph blogs: Should sites pay citizen journalists?

Blog post from citizen journalism news site Demotix, which does pay its contributors, asking whether user-generated content should be paid for.

“Open-source, creative-commons licensed reporting is great, and it can coexist with remunerated citizen-journalism,” says the post.

Full story at this link…

Pro-am journalism site Demotix gets facelift

Demotix – the website which aims to match citizen journalists with mainstream media outlets – has been given a slick new look:

The ‘user-generated newswire’ splits revenues from content between citizen journalists and publishers and now features a handy ‘news by continent’ search.

In an interview with Journalism.co.uk, Demotix founder Turi Munthe said the site was aimed at both amateurs and professional freelance journalists and could help combat the ‘mass shrinkage’ of foreign news coverage by media organisations.

“We want to bring professionals back in and broker deals for their images all over the world. Professionals will lead Demotix; they will lead the aspirations of all our street journalists,” he said.

“By creating a website that everyone can access in many ways we give a megaphone to the person on the street where ever they are. Demotix sees itself as standing on the lines of free speech.”