Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Newsonomics: Newsprint tariffs are a Black Swan event that could speed up the death of U.S. newspapers
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
April 22, 2014, 2:18 p.m.
Audience & Social
LINK: towcenter.org  ➚   |   Posted by: Justin Ellis   |   April 22, 2014

The Tow Center at the Columbia Journalism School is out with Act 1 of a new report that examines the ways TV news organizations and online media companies employ user-generated content. “Amateur Footage: A Global Study of User-Generated Content in TV News and Online” is a survey of over 1,000 hours of TV and more than 2,200 online pages from channels like Al Jazeera (Arabic and English), BBC World, CNN International, France 24, NHK World, and TeleSUR.

While the report finds that UGC is used daily, there’s no consistent method of labeling material from the audience or crediting those individuals. And the reasons why news channels air user-generated content — and how they discover it — vary widely.

User-generated content is used when other pictures are not available, as the ongoing reliance on it to cover the Syrian conflict demonstrates. The way that UGC was integrated during coverage of the Glasgow helicopter crash and the razing of Lenin’s statue in Kiev during the Ukrainian protests suggests that UGC is often employed as a stopgap before news agency pic- tures emerge—interestingly, even if the professional ones are less dramatic. This was demonstrated during the coverage of Nelson Mandela’s death. The news organizations had so much material stockpiled from planning for the event that there was no need to seek out UGC. This, even though there were compelling pictures filmed by people on the streets of South Africa documenting the way the country was reacting to Mandela’s death.

UGC also inspired stories that would otherwise have been ignored, as long as the pictures were compelling enough. Within our sample there were a handful of stories that were driven solely by the UGC that emerged. Some were kicker stories like one about a ship’s cook who was unexpect- edly found alive by a dive team sent to investigate a sunken ship. Others were shocking cases of police brutality captured through secret filming on camera phones.

Researchers found that the majority of content came from Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, but that many outlets also rely on agencies like Storyful, the Eurovision Newsexchange, or Reuters to supply user-generated material as well. You can read the rest of this part of the report here; the full report comes out May 30.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 45,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Newsonomics: Newsprint tariffs are a Black Swan event that could speed up the death of U.S. newspapers
The tariffs increase the cost of newsprint by as much as 30 to 35 percent, though the impact on publishers is highly uneven, with some chains in better shape and the dwindling independents most at risk.
Facebook will take down posts that could cause “real physical harm,” but Holocaust denials (and Pizzagate?) remain okay
Plus: Anger trumps love (in Facebook reactions to legislators’ posts), the most-shared news sources on right-wing social network Gab, and connections between Macedonian teens and U.S. conservatives.
Chance the Rapper, Chance the Philanthropist, and now Chance the Publisher
He marked his purchase of Chicagoist — formerly part of the media empire of Joe Ricketts, whose family owns the Cubs — by beefing with Crain’s Chicago Business.