The Associated Press has partnered with Swedish live streaming startup Bambuser to get access to timely footage from citizen reporters around the world. Bambuser users will be able to opt in to having their footage picked up by AP and its associated news organizations, and the wire service will use its network of correspondents to vet any footage shot by citizen reporters.
Bambuser footage has been used extensively in recent months by major news organizations to report about the conflict in Syria. The company is concentrating on mobile live streaming, and the AP will also explore to use Bambuser’s platform for its own journalists.
The partnership between Bambuser and the AP is significant in part because it formalizes the relationship between the news organization and citizen video reporters, who on occasion are thrown into the spotlight just because they happen to be live streaming from what turns out to be a major event. The AP will credit any footage used in its coverage with the Bambuser username of the person who shot it. That’s a big step up from how footage has been used in the past: Major news networks regularly show footage on TV, only to describe its origin as “found on the Internet.”
It’s also an important step for Bambuser, which has been working on casting itself as a platform for high-quality footage captured with mobile phones. The company introduced a new technology last year that makes it possible to broadcast live with limited bandwidth over mobile networks, and then upload additional video frames from a Wifi network to enhance archived footage.