reuters + yahoo + flickr in “citizen journalism” move

Back in February I found myself wondering outloud when flickr would position itself as a photo agency. Today the NY Times reports (Thanks Joe!) that Yahoo and Reuters have joined forces to launch a new “citizen journalism” service tomorrow, with photos appearing on flickr before being edited by trained staff and fed into Reuters output:

“Starting tomorrow, users will be able to upload photos and videos to a section of Yahoo called You Witness News ( All of the submissions will appear on Flickr or a similar site for video. Editors at both Reuters and Yahoo will review the submissions and select some to place on pages with relevant news articles, just as professional photographs and video clips are woven into their news sites today.”

“People don’t say, ‘I want to see user-generated content,’ ” said Lloyd Braun, who runs Yahoo’s media group. “They want to see Michael Richards in the club. If that happens to be from a cellphone, they are happy with a cellphone. If it’s from a professional photographer, they are happy for that, too.”

“Users will not be paid for images displayed on the Yahoo and Reuters sites. But people whose photos or videos are selected for distribution to Reuters clients will receive a payment. Mr. Ahearn said the company had not yet figured out how to structure those payments. The basic payment may be relatively small, but he said Reuters was likely to pay more to people offering exclusive rights to images of major events. For now, no money is changing hands between Yahoo and Reuters, but if Reuters is able to create a separate news service with the user-created material, it will split the revenue with Yahoo.”

Let’s all say it in unison: “We’ll use the best stuff on TV and, when we do, you’ll be able to tell your friends that you report for…