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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 April 2005, 14:12 GMT 15:12 UK
From the editor's desktop: Your response

Pete Clifton, editor of the BBC News website, looks back at a week in the newsroom and lobs in a few intriguing ideas about the way ahead. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your comments:

I often visit your website for my research for new projects
Gøril Trondsen Booth, Oslo, Norway
I'm a professional freelance photojournalist very fond of the BBC's work around the globe. I often visit your website for my research for new projects. The BBC is also my first choice for morning newscasts by a foreign broadcaster. Please continue keeping up your high level of work by using professional writers and photographers and please pay them. We depend on publishers willing to pay for professional work in order to continue delivering professional quality material.
Gøril Trondsen Booth, Oslo, Norway

Great column. This is by far the best on the BBC site.
Pranay, Waterville, USA

Yes, well might professional photographers be indignant! Many of us earn a living by creating, then selling our pictures and receiving royalties. I'm sure you writers would soon start bleating if it was suggested that all editorial copy was supplied (free) by readers too!!
Bob Collier, Halifax, UK

By all means ask users for their pictures, but shouldn't you pay the going rate for them? That way you will get the best pictures, professional photographers won't complain about unfair competition and people who wouldn't have bothered to send in their snaps will be encouraged.
Chris, Oxford, UK

Fantastic article and love your sense of humour! Very brave to have notes from the Editor. Love it and keep it coming!
Susan Sullivan, Overland Park, KS

Not only do we have to pay a licence fee, we now have to help supply content
Matt, London
In relation to 'citizen snappers', this has to be one of the most cynical and transparent cost cutting exercises yet. Not only do we have to pay a licence fee, we now have to help supply content.
Matt, London

Sounds great, though you're leaving yourself exposed to the criticism of an entire planet it does make the BBC about as accountable to the public as you can get for a public service. And please, please keep the archive, you're preserving electronic media history on your own doorstep, (plus it provides ample reading when on a night shift).
Tim Clark, Cardiff

I have been a professional photographer in London for nearly 20 years and have had several pics used by the BBC on their website, including a recent couple of election ones. I consider 'snapper' to be an affectionate term for us and anyone who owns a camera is entitled to send a picture in for consideration. The only benchmark is quality, not job description.
Johnnie Pakington, London UK

Are you saying you will be wasting BBC licence payers' money on photographs that you already know you can get for free?
J Harker, London

Perhaps we can get your readers to write the articles as well as send in the pictures and you can just sit there and count your savings.
Andy Spain, London

Love your column. It adds a personal touch to a website which is still excellent, but occasionally ends up being dry. I'm the kind of person who tends to read a lot of the stories, especially on the front page, and very often I get the feeling that there's nothing left to read on the site. I know there are plenty of links to the various categories of stories, but you guys ought to promote the stories inside the website better. By the way, could you persuade the editor of the sports news Site to start a blog too? Keep up the good work!
Dynesh Raghavan, Chennai, India

Great idea - instead of using the services of photo libraries, (which you have to pay for) get Jo Public to supply your photo requirements. On that basis, I don't see any reason why I should pay my TV licence.
Barrie Harwood, Llandudno, North Wales

This column is the best read I know about on the web
Siobhán, Stroud, England
Pete Clifton - you are my hope and my aspiration! This column is the best read I know about on the web!
Siobhán, Stroud, England

Seems pretty straight forward: photos should be included on merit. I can't see what difference it makes who took the picture and it would be silly to exclude a compelling image simply because it wasn't professionally composed. The only problem regarding accepting photos from the general public is presumably that of wading through chaff to get to the wheat. In any case, there'll always be a role for professional photographers so they've nothing to fear.
Jeremy, Sevenoaks

I love the cheekiness of having a "Don't Care" option in your polls. Do these respondents (20% for the poll about users' photographs) not realise how stupid they look: "Pass the mouse, dear, I don't care about this issue!"
Alan Simpson, Belfast, NI

This is by far the best column yet - you go get 'em!
Judy, Leeds

Against my better judgement I plugged in my PC again; and your column is showing promising signs of improvement. Thank you for pulling yourself together.
Timon, Bath

Your editor's comment column is mostly egotistical waffle
Geoffrey Negus, Solihull
Your editor's comment column is mostly egotistical waffle. He could make the points twice as effectively with half the words. Why should we care that he was born in Northampton? Hasn't he anything better to do?
Geoffrey Negus, Solihull

Yes, definitely users' shorts should be published but the BBC must at least make a nominal payment, even if it's only a tenner. For years the BBC assumes everyone will fall over backwards to contribute.
Mary Hammond, London

I'm an accountant not a professional photographer, although I do like to think I take a nifty shot on a good day. Nonetheless, I'm very uncomfortable with the thought of you cheerfully using the huge resource of readers available to you as an unpaid photo library. It sounds to me like a cynical way to get a few brownie points by promoting a visible cost-saving initiative within the new mean, lean BBC. Why stop there? Put journalists out of work by signing up readers to write copy? Unpaid amateur scripts for radio plays? If decision makers fail to value those who earn their crust serving the arts and media the skill pool that organisations like the BBC can draw on will wither.
Sarah Pettegree, Norfolk, UK

Love the blog, keep up the good work.
Simon, Milton Keynes, England


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