Yahoo News using Flickr today as a citizen journalist tool (and a how-to do it yourself):
The front page of Yahoo! News is featuring a link to a slide show of photos related to today’s airport backups. It’s a nice use of a standard Flickr feature that can be used in such a breaking-news situation where lots of people are able to share photos from their individual vantage points. The ubiquity of cell phone cameras and the ability to post such photos instantly to such a service as Flickr also makes this “citizen journalist” tool a natural for such an event as today.
Here’s what they’re doing (and this assumes you are familiar with the basic features of a Flickr account):
1. They have set up a Flickr account (pro) with the user name “ynews_edit“
2. Someone has logged into the account and is finding photos related to today’s news, most likely by searching for photos tagged with terms like “heathrow“
3. The user of the account is adding the photos to the account’s “favorites page”
4. The link on the front page goes to a slide show version of the account’s “favorites page”
Despite the fact that Yahoo! owns Flickr, this is a simple hack anyone with a Flickr account can use to display photos on one page (and one slide show) from multiple Flickr users who have posted public photos. (Flickr has another tool that allows multiple users to post photos to a “group” — which works well if several people are collaborating on such an effort.)
Now that mainstream online media is using these citizen foto sites, what will happen to newspix and newsphotos over at News Ltd? I guess it used to be that you had News PhotoJournalists who had an invite to an event and the paparazzi who would hang around outside in bushes. Now it can be anyone. And don’t talk to me about professionals do a professional job – passionate people do a fantastic superb job.
Talking of uploading and downloading fotos, that video I uploaded to YouTube that suddenly received 6000 hits yesterday got 9,000 today – sitting at 15,000 hits total. Commented 20 times, Favorited 100 times. I didn’t even know Favorited was a word.