Citizen photographers app…

Can you say “Citizen Journalist”? That phrase harkens back seven or eight years when everyone it seems wanted to become a journalist. It had its good and bad points and never really seemed to take off. Kind of floundered and dropped out of sight.

Well, now someone has developed an app titled “Tapln” that encourages citizens to shoot photos to be submitted to their local rag.

Participating newspapers would ask their readers to pull out a phone and snap pictures if they are on scene of an event…even to the point of shooting breaking news.

We all know the dangers inherent in having untrained civilians running amuck thinking they can do a pro’s job. I won’t list them. Why don’t you? Feel free to make a comment below and let the world know what YOU think of this marvelous new app.

(Thanks to Mickey Osterreicher with the NPPA facebook group.)

6 thoughts on “Citizen photographers app…

    1. Dean…the tools are there. That is great if you understand professional ethics and how to work in breaking news situations. My question is, who is liable if a non-staffer “volunteers” and is put in danger, gets injured, or just plain fakes information?

  1. News stations have been duped in the past by citizens sending in false photos. They have no ethics of telling the truth, just the ego boost seeing their names mentioned on television. I need to find the exact story, but I recall a case where photos were sent in of a tornado that never happened in DMA somewhere in the midwest.

    Oh, and FCP X has this “export to CNN iReport…”

    I already ranted about the term “citizen journalist” on Facebook, so I won’t bring it here.

  2. You are wrong – citizens have the right, and in many cases an obligation to record events. Without citizen journalists we would have never been given visibility into hundreds of events, including gross abuses by law enforcement and other government officials.

    Iran, Egypt, Toronto, Vancouver, and LA’s May day fiascos to name a few.

    Recording events is a right of all persons in democratic countries as long as no laws are violated. That is filming from a public place, understanding what constitutes trespassing, and not directly interfering with law enforcement or emergency responders in the performance of their official duties.

    The world has changed with technology, and is not going back. The better discussion should be how to more effectively use the technology available and desire for citizens to ensure events are recorded. “Professional” journalists are still free to interpret or explain events – but do not criticize a citizen for their desire to record history.

    Better to get ahead of the game, and not whine about events and technology passing traditional media and bureaucracy at the speed of light.

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