Le Monde Taking Cit-J Reportage From Demotix

imageimageAnd you thought “citizen journalism” was consigned to the online journalism dustbin of 2007? Not so – one site is actually doing a fine job of feeding amateur and freelance stories, photos and videos to the folks bloggers used to call “mainstream media”. Its latest win – France’s LeMonde.fr is joining Lebanon’s Future News and Nepal’s Himalaya Times in adding Demotix‘s 5,000-strong photo widget to its website.

Demotix, which takes a strong interest in reporters’ freedoms, was founded in 2008 – a good couple of years after the cit-j concept really took off – by CEO Turi Munthe and COO Jonathan Tepper to bridge what they saw as a gap between struggling conventional media and the emergent “citizen”-authored online and mobile journalism – more about the philosophy here. The site aims to broker photos to picture desks “for anything between $50 and $3,000 … some photos and videos can go for $100,000s”. Demotix splits fees with creators, who retain copyright. It’s pretty much the same business model as Scoopt, Kyle Macrae’s cit-J site that was bought but later mothballed by Getty (NYSE: GYI) Images.

It’s been bearing fruit, with contributors’ photographs recently being sold for cover splashes to Egypt’s Almasry Alyoum paper, The Guardian andThe Sunday Times amongst others.