The Associated Press has signed a deal with video streaming technology firm Bambuser to use content generated by its users.

From today, users will be able to opt in to a “share the news” service that could see newsworthy videos picked up by AP for use by one of the 700 TV networks it supplies.

Bambuser uses a web cam or an Apple, Android or Nokia Ovi mobile device to stream live video, which is also stored on Bambuser’s website.

AP deputy director of international video Mark Davies described user generated content as “integral to covering breaking news, particularly where access is restricted”.

He said: “As a global newsgathering organisation in more than 300 locations worldwide, AP has the expertise to verify [user generated content] and to add context via our own reporting.” 

AP has already used live feeds of fighting in Syria supplied by Bambuser users, which Davies said topped AP’s worldwide usage charts “a few times”.

AP senior producer Fergus Bell said that because the video is live it helps AP to verify it.

He said: “Users can only share live images so we know it is being shot in real time. And if whoever is shooting the images isn’t capturing what we need, we can message them via Bambuser and ask them to adjust what they are shooting”.

As part of the deal AP will also trial Bambuser as a newsgathering device.

Over the next two weeks, 25 of the news agency’s journalists around the world will be equipped with the app, which AP said could be used in situations that were unsuitable for traditional newsgathering tools.

Bambuser executive chairman Hans Eriksson described the arrangement with AP as “a natural step to take.”

He said: “For the first time, the work of any Bambuser user can be shared and acknowledged in potentially all major media outlets.

“This is a real breakthrough for content providers as they can contribute to the wider story with their unique footage.”

  • See the March/April issue of Broadcast Tech for more.