7th July 2005 saw four bombs going off in London. It was one of the worst terror attacks on English soil.
A year later, an anonymous Londoner received a citizen journalist award for his timely click of the aftermath. Broadcasters like the BBC featured his photo. The photo wasn’t a professional snap by media standards but Vicky Taylor, BBC News Interactivity editor and one of the judges in the prize jury said,
I went with the pictures which were taken by people almost by chance. They did not set out to photograph an event, it just happened in front of them.
This the golden age of citizen journalism.
Citizen journalism is a Web event. Blogs, podcasts, streaming videos…have given the average Joe an ability to broadcast sans boundaries. News outlets know this. They also know they cannot be everywhere. That is why most well-known names in print and television actively call out for news tips, photos and videos.
Juice up your cell. If news is breaking, be on the scene. Here are seven television news outlets waiting to accept your newsworthy pictures and videos.
Submit here: In Pictures
Even as I write this, you can be sure that someone is pitching a photo to The British Broadcasting Corporation. Getting your photos and videos accepted by BBC could be the acme of your fledgling photojournalism career. Your news, your pictures. You do not have to pitch…just email it to them. BBC accepts photos and videos from anywhere in the world. You can even submit a series of photos as a photo essay. After rigorous combing, the selected pictures are published every Friday.
BBC explains what they are looking for —
Like any other media agency, BBC is interested in your visual interpretation of both local and global issues as well as great pictures from your daily life.
Submit here: CNN iReport
CNN was probably the first on the crowdsourced news scene. CNN iReport is one of the best and well-defined outlets for sharing your newsworthy pictures and videos. The innovative media outlet gives you a “toolkit” to help bring the issues you are interested in to the forefront. Editors vet the stories and the best ones go on the CNN with a “CNN iReport” stamp. If you see one of your stories make the cut, it could be a newsworthy moment personally!
Submit here: How To Send Us Your Video and Pictures
Sky News is one of the most watched media channels in the U.K. The 24-hour channel also provides international services through Sky News International. An online news portal and mobile apps are the other digital fronts. The Contact Us page on the website is the easiest way to send any newsworthy pictures and videos to the broadcaster. You can use email or directly send in your photos and videos from your mobile.
Sky News says…
By sending us your video footage/photographs /audio you agree we can broadcast, publish and edit the material and pass it onto others for similar use in any media worldwide, without any payment being due to you. Please do not submit your contribution unless you accept this.
Submit here: uReport
Interested in going for a featured assignment? Fox News is focused on America, and if you are from the U.S. it is probably on your news watch list. With uReport, you get to go on freelance assignments for the news channel and upload your contributions to the site. You can take pictures or capture video footage to complete your assignment. The channel may be America-centric but “uReports” can be submitted from anywhere in the world. The best uReports make make the cut on FoxNews.com.
Submit here: Sharek
The Quatari media organization is now known worldwide for its breaking news coverage. Remember the Iraq War and the Arab Spring? Now, it has global networks under its umbrella and broadcasts to more than 260 million households in more than 100 countries. The easiest way to submit photos and videos to the network seems to be through their Tumblr blog and an Android app. You can also submit photos and videos through email. Al-Jazeera also launched Sharek, an Arabic crowdsourced video portal.
Submit here: First Person
The crowdsourced page is aptly named – First Person. NBC.com asks for your photos around different subjects, but you can choose to send them any click and wait for their nod. If the photo is on a topical theme around the news of the day, then the channel just might pick it up for NBC News and MSNBC-TV programs. There are also special reports by citizen journalists, and as a reader you can vote for your favorite reader-submitted photos and video.
Submit here: Upload your amazing photos and videos now
Why do photos and videos have to be about dramatic events? They can be about mundane events like the weather. The Weather Channel is an American cable and satellite TV channel. And it is asking for your amazing weather photos and videos. Send them in from around the world. You can take inspiration from the many uploaded here and go on a photographic excursion around your town.
Note: Every site has its own submission guidelines. Commonly, it involves granting the news outlets royalty-free, exclusive license to publish your photos. Do remember to read the fine print.
The Value In Pictures & Videos
News organizations have stringers in every major city. But even they cannot cover everything. As we see so many times, it is the person in the moment who makes a difference. There pictures do tell a thousand words. News outlets love news…but maybe, not so much to pay for it. Nothing though is stopping you for negotiating for a slice of the pie if your photo catches history “breaking news” in the frame. It has been known to happen.
Sending your best photos isn’t only about news. It is also about crowdsourcing data for the greater good. It can start a public outcry and spark investigative reporting. You can use it as a powerful voice to address local issues. You never know. If you want to be a conscientious citizen journalist, try your hand with the resources offered by these news outlets. They are not the only ones…you can be sure that it could be closer to home. Even your local broadcaster will gladly take your photos and videos.
Tell us about any other television broadcaster that’s missing from the list. Have you sent in any submissions and had them featured?
Image Credit: PhotKing (Flickr)