Put Your Cell Phone To Work – How to Make Money Selling News Stories


Abraham Zapruder changed the world with a movie camera in Dallas on November 23rd, 1963. In 1991 George Holliday made history with a video camera when police stopped Rodney King across the street. His tape introduced us all to the power of citizen reporting.

Today almost everyone has a video camera with them 24/7, with much higher quality than Zapruder’s grainy 8 mm film or Holliday’s analog video tape. Want to change the world? Or maybe just make some good money? Here’s how to be a news stringer or videographer and turn your cell phone camera into an ongoing source of cash.

You have a much better chance hitting it big with your camera than you do playing the lottery. Think about all the random events you come across in the course of your week that might generate interest with news organizations. Traffic accidents; fires and other emergency responses; arrests at traffic stops; strikes and protests, on and on. Most people gawk and walk, never thinking to pull out their phone and record video. If you get in the habit of stopping to record the incident, you just might end up with a product the local TV channel will want to put on the 10 o’clock news. And they’ll pay you for it. But if it doesn’t pan out, it costs you nothing but some time.

Here are a few pointers:

Practice. Get started now practicing with your camera so you can confidently and quickly get it out and begin recording when you need it. Make sure you get nice smooth video of what you are shooting. You can practice by recording your kids playing, your pets, or friends. Make sure you are familiar with all settings or features of your camera so you can get good clear images and good audio in any lighting conditions.

Narrate. There’s nothing more frustrating to the viewer (and the potential buyer) than seeing a video of a once in a lifetime event and hearing the person filming saying nothing but “Oh my God” over and over again. Get in the habit of clearly and calmly describing what you are shooting as you shoot it. Point out things that may not be easy to see on the recording and give simple background or context as you shoot. For example if you just pulled up on a house fire you might start with the date, time and location and begin describing what you are seeing, adding any smells, sounds or sensations that would not necessarily be evident on the video. If you sell your video and the buyer wants to do their own narration, they can simply eliminate the audio themselves. But many may appreciate the additional information a clear, well done narration would provide.Interview.

Ask questions of bystanders, and even of principles if possible. But keep in mind If you do this it takes you beyond the level of a random bystander and you become a journalist. Make sure they are willing to state their full name clearly and be sure to get the correct spelling, and let them know you are videoing them with the potential of providing the recording to news organizations. If they are reluctant, do not record them. But if they are willing, you may get great additional footage that lends insight and context to the event. More details please visit:-http://allibmblog.com/ https://onetech4.com/ https://yourtechcrunch.com https://capetownacupuncture.com/

Imagine going up to someone who was just placed in the back of a squad car and asking them why they were arrested- and getting a video confession! It takes guts, but it has happened!

Once you have your video there are a couple things you need to do-

First, remember, time is of the essence. You can’t sell yesterday’s news. Immediately contact your local TV news station and ask to speak to someone on the assignment desk. This would be the person who determines what is included in the news broadcast and when it is aired. Let them know you have good video of a local news story and see if they are interested. Your video will be especially valuable if a news crew showed up to the same situation AFTER you got your scoop.

Secondly, DO NOT release your video anywhere else. Do not upload it to You Tube. It may be great and it may attract tons of views, but no one is going to buy it from you once it’s gone viral.

Third, if it’s something that can potentially wait a few days, keep a copy of your raw video separate, and begin to edit another copy for sound, clarity and content. It is possible to sell a good polished edited version of a story that is not time sensitive. You can use Windows Movie Maker to edit the video and work with the audio separately in Audacity (a powerful free audio development application). If you can’t make a deal, then at least you can then put it up on You Tube as part of a quality portfolio to help you build credibility in this market niche.

Finally, if you get an offer, take it! I know there are lots of complications that you read about with regard to local network affiliates buying rights cheap and then the story goes national and you could have made thousands if you had held out, but frankly- no. You’re not there yet. Sell all you can and make more. There’s always tomorrow and there will always be more opportunities.

As you develop a reputation with your local media as someone who can provide quality video and audio of breaking stories in a timely manner, you will soon see opportunities open. You might be able to land a contract as a real “stringer”; a contractor who is the go-to person when something big happens in your community.


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