Part of the reason text journalism is failing is mostly due to the laziness of its reporters. It seems that if something was not presented to them via a press release or already published elsewhere, they will not write about it. There is almost no investigation left and everything is just reprint and Copy/Paste.
With this said and while you enjoy a probably cold day at home ( if your are in the Northern Hemisphere) lets look at a few new things emerging at our horizon:
Our friends at Google seem to be more and more involved in image search. After putting online content from the Life magazine collection, currently being license by Getty Images, they have taken the first step to actually managing image content. Unlike the rest of the image search in Google, this collection seemed to have been indexed entirely on its IPTC content. Even more interesting, this content does not appear on a Yahoo search. As we wrote about before, the future of search is to display content unavailable to other search engine, making it an even more useful and valuable. Google certainly has the cash to purchase such content ( Getty anyone ?).Could this Life Collection be an experiment ? A few toes in the water? But that is old news.What Google has recently released can be seen in its “advanced search” and come as numerous filters:
It is now possible to separate images from drawings and illustrations. It is also possible to search only within editorial usage, by just selecting the “news content” filter. The drop menus also allow for even more accuracy as one allows to pick the file format, as the other can filter the b/w or color images. Finally with the “domain ” filter, you can actually do a search on a photo agency website using the Google search engine instead of their own. Some photo agency or photographer websites are so security obsessed that they will not let this happen, but that is their loss, not Google’s.
As it was stated before here many times, the future of the licensed images lies in being where the client is, not the opposite. Having your own website is only the beginning and not an end in itself.
CNN. Unlike companies that have decided to cut expenses, CNN is going all out to look for new revenue streams. After their wire service announcement, or in parallel I should say, they are beta testing their Image Source website :
Made entirely of videos , CNN is licensing their entire archive to the world. That is a huge blow to Getty who is lagging way behind in editorial video only offering lousy red carpet B roll. Cnn has also secured AFP video content, the same AFP that has a photo distribution deal with Getty images. Finally, CNN is also licensing the content they get from iReport, their user generated content.
As newspapers are dying and online sources of news are growing, CNN is betting on a huge yet untapped market. Furthermore it has little or no competition in this editorial video space. Will they license stills made from their video camera ? Time will tell.
Finally, stumbled upon a blog site today called the 37 th frame dot org. While it says that the intent is to promote photojournalism, its “About US” page not only offers no names but instead a big disclaimer saying that all images used on the site are covered by the fair use act. It doesn’t prevent them from having big banner ads all over the site. I guess that promotion of photojournalism also means taking advantage of it these days. If whomever is behind this site would share its ad revenue with the photographers he displays on his/her site, photojournalism would feel much better.