Video Cell Phones Capture Breaking News Video

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Video capable cell phones have changed the way live news video is captured. Camera phones in the hands of the public at large lend immedicacy to images of crime, disaster, terrorism and heroism and provide exclusive coverage of events as they happen. A freely available system to index and catalogue these submissions has been created to alert the media immediately and directly and to facilitate compensating those that capture and submit newsworthy video footage.

Anyone with a video cell phone or camcorder that captures newsworthy video can submit the clip for free through With a growing database of over 500 local and national news organizations, the media is notified directly about any newsworthy video clips uploaded by the public. The submitter can be alerted by whichever news organizations are interested in airing the clip on TV or the internet.

With the proliferation of cell phones that take pictures and now video, just about anyone can capture news video footage of an event as it happens. Almost all cell phones sold today have built-in cameras, but the newest generation of cell phones are video capable as well.

There has never been a time in history when virtually anything that could be witnessed with the eye could also be caught on video by Joe Public. This has changed the face of eyewitness news reporting forever.

Typically, when breaking news occurs, a TV station dispatches a camera crew and news van with satellite equipment to the scene to cover the event. More often than not, the crime, act of heroism or other such event has already taken place and the on-the-spot reporting is reduced to live interviews of witnesses at the scene.

Even though broadcast quality video of the actual event cannot be shot by the TV cameraman when they arrive late on the scene, a low resolution video clip of the event as it occurred can be captured by someone standing nearby with a video camera phone. This low quality video is usually better than no video at all and can provide live coverage that is invaluable to TV news networks.

Local news channels as well as national news networks all have an interest in breaking news video footage. Most of these news organizations have a News Desk that accepts submissions by the public at large. However, these news organizations do not specialize in cataloguing and indexing all of the submissions that are made.

After a timely and useful submission is reviewed by the editorial staff, even if the video clip is deemed newsworthy, it is difficult to determine who it was that actually made the submission. News organizations want to compensate members of the public that submit news footage that will be broadcast on the air or over the internet. A system to keep track of who submitted which clip has been created so that those submitting newsworthy video can be contacted and paid for the rights to the video.


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Rob Schweitzer
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