This App Will Pay Anyone to Shoot News Videos (HBO)

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This App Will Pay Anyone to Shoot News Videos (HBO) 4.5
Fresco is a lot like Uber. It’s an app built for an on-demand service based on location. But unlike similar apps where you request a car, takeout, or a even a dog walker, Fresco puts a call out for a photojournalist. A newsroom posts a request for video of, say, a crime scene, and a Fresco user in the area can accept, take a video of it, and upload it to Fresco. If the news outlet uses it, the Fresco user gets paid $50. That seems like quite a bargain compared to the hundreds or thousands of dollars a professional journalist would earn. But Fresco raises many ethical questions -- among them, do you get what you pay for?

TV news stations across the country are using the app, but Fresco is particularly appealing to KTBY, a station in Anchorage, Alaska. Alaska is a big state, and many of KTBY's viewers live in remote villages that are hours away by plane. It's hard to cover those communities without spending a ton of money and time. In a Fresco promotional video, Scott Centers, COO of Coastal Television Broadcasting Company, which owns KTBY, marvels that Fresco offers an affordable alternative. "So if you take a reporter's salary and then you add in the cost of vehicles, using Fresco we were able to cut that cost. And so what was once a $3,000 average cost, now comes down to less than $200," Centers laughs.

But outsourcing news gathering to amateurs also comes with a cost. Fresco's users are largely not trained in news gathering or journalistic ethics. Vice News spoke to multiple Fresco users, one of whom said she was hesitant when KTBY asked her to interview a politician about public policy.

Weirdly, Fresco's promo about KTBY provides its own lesson in journalistic standards. It's titled "Fresco Fully Powers Local TV News Station." The description says, "Announcing the first television news station to be fully powered by citizen journalism." Fresco CEO John Meyer says KTBY signed off on a press release making this claim. Yet KTBY's news director, Mark Colavecchio, told Vice News, That was something that Fresco came up with, because we're not fully powered by Fresco."

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💬 Comments on the video

I am going to go full nightcrawler on this.

Author — random vidz


Sounds like the news found a cheap way to get footage!!

Author — ThaGreaT FranK


could the vice journalist have been more bored looking?

Author — Plomper


Not sure how this idea fits into our steady descent into idiocracy but, still, interesting. Fifty bucks doesn't sound like a lot, though.

Author — AdaptorLive


Pretty ironic, Vice doing a story on the potential quality loss in news reporting...

Author — Azael


Can't find someone else to be an anchor rather than the lady who sounds like a 70-year old with emphysema?

Author — Crooked_Grin_29


i can't wait till fresco replaces this host at vice

Author — MWYANT19


its uber all over again downt worry in a couple of years cameras will be automated by drones or something "Pro" will be coding and flyingh them

Author — Sebastián Anguiano


Privatize the gains, socialize the costs. Never fails.

Author — 4tech69


If people only sent footage of what was happening with no commentary, I would be fine with that. But asking people not trained in journalistic integrity to interview people is a really bad idea. You would only get very biased reporting.

Author — Heds123


Shift footage, shift responsibility, shift less $$$ though

Author — HappyHusbandn Wife


Well, just when you thought shit couldn't get any scarier. Now anyone's opinion is news..biased much?

If the wrong people take advantage of it, it could be easily skewed.

Author — Ryan M


Can't wait to see diy journalists capturing footage on iPads 😑

Author — Fermín Diaz


Who else is reminded of the Black Mirror episode with everyone mindlessly recording and filming what's going on around them?

Author — JStrauD | Tech & Gaming


restore building three nnwufm deal kiss growth harm editor away.

Author — Ruben Ribeiro


Holy shit!! time to go and Nightcrawl!

Author — theultimateninja


as every aspect of our lives become decentralized due to technology, you will cry for attention and control. we will simply go around you.

Author — Maple Flavor


shoot video, and they will create a content :D

Author — Samil Niftaliyev


1:51 Lord Varys is that you? (game of thrones)

Author — Swapnil Sapkal


nightcrawlers in the house lets get the best footage

Author — sagar baishya