User-Generated Content Submissions Pass 1 Million

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Industry leader Cell Journalist surpasses CNN iReport, credits focus on breaking news and severe weather

We recently decided to make Cell Journalist the exclusive UGC platform for the Raycom Media group because of their focus on news, superior content acquisition technology, and strong customer support - Pat LaPlatney VP of Digital Media at Raycom

As local television news departments across the country covered record-breaking snowfalls, frigid temperatures and communities paralyzed by one of the worst winters in recent memory, history was also being made on the airwaves.

Using cell phones and digital cameras, average citizens captured and sent hundreds of thousands of photos and videos into broadcast stations. From a competitive news coverage perspective, the world had changed. Having a platform that makes it fast and easy for viewers to submit content from cell phones has become as important as having great reporters and photographers.

Based on field studies in dozens of markets over the past two years, data collected by Cell Journalist from television stations shows that over 60 percent of all content submissions are being made via email. The dramatic growth of content submitted via email is generating more than 50,000 new images and videos per month across the Cell Journalist network.

Early this year the company passed the million-submission mark. By comparison, according to CNN, its iReport website has received a total of just over 530,000 submissions. Based on current growth trends, Cell Journalist expects to reach the two-million mark by the end of 2011.

While many of the initial user-generated content providers have shifted their focus to non-news, entertainment, and international markets, Cell Journalist has remained committed to providing fast, easy-to-use news solutions that maximize submissions and help producers quickly move the content from Internet to air. Pat LaPlatney, vice president of digital media at Raycom, said, “We recently decided to make Cell Journalist the exclusive UGC platform for the Raycom Media group because of their focus on news, superior content-acquisition technology, and strong customer support.”

In addition to Raycom, Cell Journalist works with leading broadcast groups like Belo, ABC/Disney, Cox, Meredith, Media General and Barrington. Currently serving more than 130 media outlets, the company has experienced dramatic growth in market share and revenue in the past year.

Co-founder and President Parker Polidor commented on the reasons behind the company’s success: “The UGC market is in a state of flux right now — lots of new directions and corporate realignments. However, our course remains clear: we are relentlessly focused on measurable customer benefits like helping local news departments win the ‘big story,’ especially during severe weather. Those are defining moments for a station. Our goal is to help them when it matters most.”

Cell Journalist, LLC is based in Nashville, Tenn. Founded by entrepreneurs Parker and Colin Polidor, it has evolved into the leading application of its kind for media outlets seeking images and videos of breaking news, weather and community events. For more information about Cell Journalist, visit


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