Scoopt agency sells first 'citizen journalist' shot

By Colin Crummy

Scoopt, the syndication agency for amateur “citizen journalists”, has sold its first picture since launching on 4 July.

The sale to the Bristol Evening Post on 2 September was for what the agency said was a “two-figure sum”.

Marketing
manager Stephen Bell, 57, took digital camera pictures of an allegedly
stolen car that crashed following a police chase.

On the same
day, Scoopt founder Kyle MacRae said the agency had interest from the
Evening Standard and ITV’s London Today over pictures and video footage
of a train fire at Abbeywood station, south east London.

MacRae
said: “The interesting thing is that the media outlets were prepared to
pay for amateur material where they wouldn’t have paid the amateur
directly.”

MacRae has yet to draw up guidelines for Scoopt users
in conjunction with the Chartered Institute of Journalists and the NUJ.
He said he understood the NUJ was “straddling this awkward ground”
between protecting its professional members and ensuring the media pays
for the pictures it uses.

Amateur photographer Bell said Scoopt
gave him an opportunity he wouldn’t have had otherwise. “I wouldn’t
have had the time, the energy or the contacts to make anything out of
it myself,” he said.

The agency has attracted almost 2,000 members from 64 countries.

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