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Guardian’s Witness App Turns Citizens into Journalists

The Guardian is joining CNN and ProPublica in asking readers to submit news content with its mobile app Guardian Witness. The mobile app allows users to submit or suggest videos, photos, or stories of breaking news for “Current Assignments” that would be used in web or print materials.

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger calls the new venture “open journalism” though cynics and paid journalists are skeptical of the Guardian’s quest for unpaid content. Rusbridger makes some great argument for open journalism but gives no reason as to why users will not be paid for submitting materials used to monetize in perpetuity.

There is one thin, silver lining though, users still own original content:

You or the owner of the content still own the copyright in the content sent to us, but by submitting content to us, you are granting us an unconditional, irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty-free, fully transferable, perpetual worldwide licence to use, publish and/or transmit, and to authorise third-parties to use, publish and/or transmit your content in any format and on any platform, either now known or hereinafter invented.


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