Let’s say you’re not a professional journalist, but you’re in the right place at the right time and take a newsworthy photo. It’s so good and important that it could end up on newspaper front pages tomorrow and be the talk of the Internet. You recognize that maybe there’s some money in this opportune image — but how do you make that happen?
That scenario is what drives Scoopt, a U.K. website being touted as the first picture agency set up specifically to help “citizen journalists” sell newsworthy photos to the media. The site launched in early July (when I was on vacation; hence this late report).
It’s an interesting idea, and perhaps worthwhile to amateurs who find themselves holding important images. Rather than call up a wire service or the biggest newspaper in town and hope to negotiate payment, hand it over to some professionals who are well connected and might be able to negotiate a decent pay-out. Scoopt splits the take 50/50.
Scoopt is pretty much for amateurs only; professional photographers won’t like the site’s insistence on six-month exclusive rights to images that it pitches to the media. Scoopt founder Kyle MacRae explains the rationale for asking for exclusivity in this exchange with Citizen Paine‘s Ari Soglin. MacRae’s argument is that he can negotiate the most lucrative deals by offering media clients exclusivity on an image.