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La certification de contenus collaboratifs : gestion de normes techniques et de communauté à l'agence photo citizenside

Abstract : The certification of collaborative news content : the management of technical norms and community in the photo agency citizenside The production of news content for upfront media has changed, especially since the emergence of broadband connections (in 2004 in France, for example). The traditional purveyors of news - news agencies - are threatened by online actors (Boyd-Barrett, 2010), including amateurs. On another side, novel news agencies - specialized in certain areas, or in certain modes such as photos or videos - have built their own model on participative journalism: they use the material of non professionals (Lasica, 2003; Paulussen et al., 2007). Therefore, their challenge is as thus: to ensure reliability for their news content offers, as the latter are intended for mainstream media (Rebillard, 2009; Bouquillion and Matthews, 2010).We wish to analyze the case of Citizenside, a web 2.0 photo agency, which was launched in France in 2006. Our aim is to measure the implication of technical norms and of community both in the strategies of production and of reputation (branding). The Citizenside agency has gained credibility among the media landscape thanks to several national events (mainly the scandals of Jérôme Kerviel - trader at the Société Générale in 2008 - and of John Galliano - fashion-designer of Dior in 2011) or international events (uprisings in the Arab world; partnership with The Guardian for the photo coverage of the Tour de France).A "double" collaboration: participative journalism and AFP-Citizenside "partnership"The Agence France-Presse - one of the three main international news agencies, and the oldest (Palmer and BoydBarrett, 1981) - is confronted with a global and growing competition with Internet actors. Therefore, the French news agency tries to position itself towards this new environment. It first did, by defending its copyright (and by suing Google then by signing an agreement with the American portal). Yet, the agency does not try to ignore online networks (Palmer and Nicey, 2011).Not only did AFP define rules for its own use of Twitter and Facebook, but it also decided in November 2007 to collaborate with Citizenside, by holding a 34 % stake of the young company. By doing so, the Agence France-Presse challenged its own reputation by using a type of news content, considered as less reliable and thence often criticized (Keen, 2008).The "certification" of news content: technical norms and modes of checking On its side, the Citizenside agency is confronted with two major challenges: it has to make its business model stable; furthermore, it has to reinforce the certification of the photos proposed to traditional upfront media (newspapers, magazines, news sites, television).The first challenge led the agency to diversification (by creating "reporters kits" intended to help usual newsrooms to integrate the content of their own communities of news consumers; by monetizing its expertise with B-to-B training). Such diversification ensures a balance with the main activity of selling the photos provided by its contributors - the latter keeping 65 % of the sale to media. The second challenge - certification - is of greater interest and is the highest occupation of Citizenside's newsroom. Citizenside's philosophy - new types of news content, new angles, new approaches of information - is based on its contributors, called "members". How are photos and videos verified? As they originate from "amateurs" (we will discuss the word), do they imply specific technical norms? Or do they imply new modes of managing news content? The team indeed operates verification for any of the 300500 daily photos published on its website.The authenticity and truth of the content - and of related information - is based on two aspects: metadata, EXIFF data and geolocation are some of the technical norms which are examined; the communication with members/contributors ("community management") is regular, and it has deeper dimensions than the usual exchanges between traditional newsrooms and their audiences (Filio, 2011). Therefore, the agency Citizenside ambitions to change the User Generated Content model (UGC) into a "User Certified Content" model ("UCC"). This ambition illustrates the need to be considered as a serious news actor and to be recognized as such by news peers (Bruns, 2005)."Renewing" quality journalism?The certification processes of the so-called "amateur" content are somehow shaping a quality participative journalism (Wittke and Hanekop, 2011). Are such processes based on new hypermedia norms? Are those norms limited to novel actors, or are they shared with traditional mainstream media? Aren't they even going further than traditional practices, sometimes marked by failure (Heinderyckx, 2003)? The discussion seems important, in so far as the new actors may change the media landscape, not only in what it can offer, but in its routines and professional practices (Bowman and Willis, 2003; Jenkins, 2006).This communication, based on my research at Agence France-Presse (post-doc financed by the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche), will use recent material and examples, in order to measure digital practices of news agencies - mainly Citizenside, where I conducted several research interviews.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - 4:30:10 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 9:59:36 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-00840596, version 1


Jérémie Nicey. La certification de contenus collaboratifs : gestion de normes techniques et de communauté à l'agence photo citizenside. Communiquer dans un monde de normes. L'information et la communication dans les enjeux contemporains de la " mondialisation "., Mar 2012, France. ⟨hal-00840596⟩



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