Newzulu’s Australian announcement comes after an earlier appointment this month of Lewis PR in France as its partner in that market.
The site offers validated crowd-sourced stories, photos and video to publishers, broadcasters and creative agencies around the world. Freelance journalists and everyday citizens can both upload content directly via the site or its app. The company then distributes and licences content to over 7,000 media outlets worldwide. Australian entrepreneurs, Alexander Hartman and Peter Scarf founded Newzulu in 2006.
"Our goal is to engage local communities in the content gathering process and encourage freelance journalists, photographers, students and citizen journalists to get on board and submit photos and videos," said Angelo Tilocca, Newzulu’s general manager for Asia Pacific, "so that they can get published, and get paid."
Since high-resolution cameras have become somewhat standard on mobile devices and social media has become a huge force all on its own, crowdsourcing news production in a more formal way seems like a logical step. CNN’s iReport offers similar crowdsourcing features for news items and the network has been incorporating details from social media and citizen journalists for years already but its iReport site lacks any reference to a way for contributors to be paid.
Newzulu recently entered a binding agreement to acquire leading Toronto- based media and brand software company, Filemobile, for approximately A$5,060,000. With offices in Sydney and Auckland, and bureaus in London, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and Montreal, the acquisition boosts the companies' combined online platforms to achieve over 50 million unique visitors per month, 200,000 video and photo uploads per month, with over 8 million registered users.
"Newzulu is an incredibly exciting company that is enjoying rapid growth both here in Australia and globally," said Andy Oliver, SVP APAC at Lewis. "We relish the opportunity to work with industry leading disruptors and Newzulu certainly meets this criteria."
"Having an agency partner that can build a narrative for us that speaks to all of our respective audiences and stakeholders, was really important," Tilocca also said about its new PR partner. "Having impressive credentials in the technology sector, Lewis was a natural choice for us. Not only are they an industry leader, they also offer a very robust integrated communications approach across both traditional PR and digital channels."