Thursday, November 16, 2006

Pete, Photos and Payments *

During his talk today, Pete Clifton, the Head of BBC News Interactive stated that the corporation had, from time to time, always paid for photos.

However, that differs from the announcement on the Media Guardian website that the BBC will allow its staff to pay for photos that 'are particularly editorially important or unique'. Only three weeks ago, Pete had ruled out the possibility that photos would be bought from users at all when he said

"We don't expect to pay for it [UGC] and I don't recall anyone asking for that."

So, it appears that the BBC are not entirely consistent in their approach to user-generated content. They have, to an extent, been forced into this by the decisions of other media outlets to pay for items provided by viewers that are used on air.

Having said all that, Pete Clifton was very impressive. The BBC news website is the most impressive in Europe and probably the world. What was really interesting was that Pete was always criticising the BBC's current output and suggesting ways he might go about improve it .

The use of interactive features such as the one indicated on the left here, open BBC journalists' work up to the people who use the BBC and starts what can be a really interesting dialogue.

The BBC remains the market leader in interactive news, and its fortunes will almost certainly dictate the fortunes of the Beeb as a whole.

This is why Pete Clifton's job is so important.


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