The emergence of social media as the powerhouse of communication has presented both opportunities and threats to traditional news organisations.
Every newsroom now has a digital team, tasked with monitoring events across platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to capture early indicators of breaking events.
The creation of digital and social media teams within newsrooms reflects a change not just in consumer habits, but the shift in dependency on career journalists to source, gather and report news events.
However, many traditional newsrooms still battle with the challenge of debunking content posted across the web and disseminating what is factually accurate from what isn’t.
Trusting sources and often-anonymous contributors is a risk too far for many newsrooms, who simply scan social media for references and indicators of what is happening in the world, rather than utilise the footage.
What’s more, content surfaced through the web is already in the public domain and likely being used or linked to by multiple news outlets.
Crowd-sourced news service Blottr has approached this form of journalism differently, combining the sourcing and verification of footage with the growing need of news editors to 1) break stories first and 2) publish footage their competitors have no access to.
Founder Adam Baker explains “Blottr was developed with the sole mission of exposing as much unreported news footage as possible. We want people to know what is actually going on in the world and believe those caught up in conflict or at the scene of a news event are best placed to report what they’re witnessing”.
Baker added: “Our job since 2010 has been to build a global contributor network and engineer verification technology that today generates and authenticates hundreds of hours of video news footage and thousands of images every month, straight from the scene of an event. The Blottr editorial team verifies the content in almost real time, before circulating it to our clients who use it for publication and broadcast”.
The historical ethics and principles of journalism remain solid today, yet the proliferation of witnesses capturing and posting their own news footage across the social web is only likely to increase.
This has led to newsrooms focusing on trawling the web for footage posted across social media, raising valid verification concerns for what is, essentially, news already in the public domain.
Blottr provides a service which arose from an early recognition of the changing face of journalism; it has built a global network of contributors to report news footage from the scene resulting in a powerful resource for newsrooms to get access to huge volumes of unique, verified news content not publicly available.
To find out more about Blottr’s syndication service, visit www.newspoint.biz
Exclusive stills and video footage sourced by Blottr:
Wounded men shot with rubber bullets by police in Zamdela, South Africa.