Is Scoopshot a photojournalism game changer?

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Scoopshot CEO Petri Rahja (center in hat) discusses different examples of the app’s impact and ability to deliver photos for media companies. Credit: Khari Johnson.

See Also: 3 Emerging Trends of Crowdsourcing and Media Innovation

All the brilliant, world changing, crowdsourcing ideas on display Thursday at Digile Business Forum 2014 (theme: Crowds Renewing Value Creation – Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding, Crowdworking, CrowdEVERYTHING) could give you whiplash but if one stood above the crowd it may have been Scoopshot.

“Reuters doesn’t have photographers in 177 countries, but we do,” said CEO and founder Petri Rahja.

Scoopshot uses crowdsourcing to find exceptional photos by regular people and makes them available for sale for news outlets and brands.

Photos go through are filtered first by Scoopshot app users, then a firm in South Africa and finally the news organization who decides to buy the photo.

The Finnish firm’s customers range from New York Post, USA Today High School Sports to provide picture in New York, Boston and Philadelphia as well as news outlets in Australia, Finland and other parts of the world.

In the near future Scoopshot will debut a feature that allows photos embeds for free. Advertising impressions and resulting profit will be divided between the photographer, Scoopshot and the news website.

Scoopshot is a natural progression since cameras have made so many advances, everyone has a smartphone and shares their photos online.

‘Smartphones have become so smart they can outperform professional photographers because you accidentally take professional photos with these new phones,” Rahja said during a panel discussion.

“The content is very personal because you all get into the places where professional photographers don’t and you see things from people’s point of view instead of professionals point of view,” he said.

WAZ Media in Germany used Scoopshot to ask its users to share their favorite cup of coffee. 27,000 photos were published in a week, some of which were published.

The work also translates for brands that want a more authentic and local look and feel, he said.

Instead of “models with high heels, makeup and Photoshop,” Finnair recently decided to invite its customers to contribute photos. Within 72 hours users submitted more than 800 photos. Top 10 were purchased for nearly $500, or $50 each.

Uh…is this the end of photojournalism? 

Editor’s Note: Shortly after publishing this blog post Khari Johnson was approached with an offer from Scoopshot to create photo challenges and serve as the company’s Community Manager. This offer was not extended before this or a subsequent blog post about Scoopshot were published. Work at Scoopshot began Sept. 29. 

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Khari Johnson
Khari is founder and editor of Through the Cracks: Crowdfunding in Journalism. He also writes about bots and artificial intelligence for VentureBeat. He has built news startups in the U.S. and Europe for the last decade.

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