Citizen Journalism: Speak up (and get paid for it)

Associated Content is a budding citizen journalism effort. It’s kind of like AP without the professional journalists and distribution system. Touted as “the people’s media company, contributors submit original stories as well as images, audio and video. Associated Content reviews each submission and accepted pieces are paid between $3 and $20. Essentially, people report on what they care about with AC serving as a non-traditional news editing process.

Most media outlets kind of have to gauge what their listeners/viewers/readers want from their news. While there are tiplines, letters to the editor, call in shows and more recently comment-enabled websites, these are more reactionary than original sources of news. lets anyone with a computer ask the media-ready questions that are relevant to them. Questions include “How are public schools funded in America?” and ” When will we run out of oil?” Its like having thousands of assignment editors.

UK-based Scoopt encourages aspiring paparazzi (or anyone in the right place at the right time) to sell their gotcha photos. Users upload their photos for review and Scoopt works as an agent to sell the submissions to newspapers, magazines and other media outlet. Published photos are paid a 40% royalty. The site takes great care to keep its users from turning into a wolfpack and has a detailed code of ethics.