By paulgillin | April 1, 2009 - 7:44 am - Posted in Fake News, Google, Hyper-local

demotix_logoDemotix¬†is a new kind of citizen journalism site that acts as an intermediary for photojournalists. Its media clients can select images from the site’s feed and Demotix splits the revenue 50:50 with the photographer. Unlike the many citizen journalism ventures that pay on the order of a few dollars to contributors, Demotix prides itself on getting professional pay scales. Non-exclusive fees can run from $50 to $3,000, according to the company’s website.

“We are raising citizen-journalists to professional rates, because that’s what they are worth,” says Tim Saunders, Demotix’ North America Editor. “We see this as fundamental to our core aim of incentivizing quality citizen journalism and securing a viable income for talented freelancers.”

turi_muntheThe London-based company principally serves up photos at the moment, but will expand into written journalism soon, according to CEO Turi Munthe (left). The business has signed on several high-profile newspapers and is hoping that its international scope will make it appealing to US journals that have had to lay off their international correspondents. Services like its concentrated coverage of the G20 Summit in London fill gaps left by the absence of foreign bureaus.

Anyone can contribute to Demotix by simply setting up an account and uploading reports and photos. A staff of professional editors decides what goes out on the wire and pays a small fee to contributors just for being selected. If a client outlet publishes an item from the wire, Demotix negotiates a fee.

On the day we caught up with Munthe for a short interview last week, the office was a bit chaotic. Demotix had just won the Media Guardian Award in the Independent Media category, an honor that Munthe said is like the “media Oscars.”¬†

To listen to the interview, click below or right-click here and save to download.




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