The Canadian newswire is partnering with Newzulu, a user-generated content aggregator, to provide crowdsourced, verified photo content. 

Photo courtesy of Caresse Ley

By Tamara Baluja, Associate Editor

The Canadian Press (CP) is partnering with Newzulu, a user-generated content aggregator, to provide crowdsourced, verified photo content.

CP will add Newzulu’s real-time photo stream to its online images archive where clients have access to images shot by CP’s photojournalists. Meanwhile Newzulu is responsible for hiring and managing a Canadian team of editors to aggregate, verify and edit the crowdsourced photos. 

“Canada is a huge country and it makes sense to find new ways to expand coverage into local and regional events we would otherwise not be able to offer,” said Malcolm Kirk, president of The Canadian Press, in a press release

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“The Newzulu offering does not replace what we have traditionally offered through our own staff and through our global partners like The Associated Press. Rather, the Newzulu content will be made available for sale through the CP Images Archive, and is intended to complement and expand the overall available menu of Canadian and international images. It promises to be a wonderful mix.”

This is Newzulu’s first foray into Canada. The company, which is headquartered in Paris, was founded in 2007 as in partnership with Agence France-Presse. Now, it operates bureaus in New York, Los Angeles, Sydney and Auckland, and it has a similar partnership with CP as with the Press Association in U.K. and Ireland as well as the Australian Associated Press in Australia and New Zealand.

Recently, Newzulu hired two editors in both Toronto and Montreal and if its Canadian operations do well, said editor-in-chief Laura Placide, Newzulu wants to open bureaus in Vancouver and Calgary.

Newzulu’s aim is to connect citizen journalists and viewers with media outlets. Placide said it pays contributors 50 per cent of the selling price once their photo is published.

The company appears to be filling a void for verified, user-generated content. An article in The Economist from last year said that in 2005, nearly all of BBC’s user-generated content was submitted directly to the public broadcaster, but in 2013, it had to hunt half of its content from social networks. That still works for the BBC, as it has one of the largest social media departments, with about 20 full-time employees, but as The Economist said, most big newspapers have a team of five to seven people.

Newzulu said its team focuses on the verification process.

“Our staff finds that great content, then fact checks every detail of the crowdsourced photo and makes sure it is verified before sending it out,” Placide told J-Source.

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Tamara Baluja is an award-winning journalist with CBC Vancouver and the 2018 Michener-Deacon fellow for journalism education. She was the associate editor for J-Source from 2013-2014.