We have had a few reporters who have reported issues with captioning when publishers have amended their work.
As the head publisher at Demotix, this is where we stand:
Captions are one of the most important areas of a photo agency.
We have always encouraged our community to import captions into Demotix via the IPTC data attached to your images. This cuts down the time you spend on site, leaving more time for publishers to work, and prevents errors creeping in.
As repeated elsewhere, I am a photojournalist myself, and wouldn't enjoy it if a publisher who wasn't present at the event wrote my captions for me. We're not trying to eliminate your voice or add spin to stories when we edit captions. A great many users submit images with inadequate captions or none at all, so we are often forced to step in. This is why we're working hard on preparing extensive training materials, some of which will aim to educate contributors about the importance of adding context to their photos through captions and metadata. This will begin appearing on the site very soon.
There are good reasons why publishers try to edit your stories as soon as they're uploaded: they want to make sure that your photos are ready to be offered for sale before that day's newspaper deadline. If we don't work quickly, your images don't get sold.
If you upload within an hour after the event, via WiFi connection, via FTP with the IPTC caption fields already filled, you are well ahead of the game, both on Demotix and other news photographers at your event. You won't have to spend hours on the website and risk publishers interfering or your connection dropping, losing your hard work. This will mean your images arrive on the website promptly and are pushed to the newspapers' image feeds as they are preparing to illustrate their stories about the event you've photographed.
This won't happen if you take many hours after shooting before uploading your stories via the web interface and try to add all of the contextual information, like captions, on the site. This is when you may find publishers jumping into your stories as soon as they appear, because there is an increased time pressure.
Errors may sometimes occur and we are always training, sharing experience, and learning as a team. Due to the speed at which Demotix is growing, we have taken on a global 24/7 news publishing team, from Miami to Bangkok, via London, Jerusalem and Vienna. Your feedback makes us stronger and helps us learn.
We understand what it takes to get the content you upload - many of us have experience in journalism and photography ourselves. We also have a strong bond with The Rory Peck Trust, which supports freelancers when they can't get help anywhere else. I recently ran a marathon for them and raised the best part of £1000.
We have your interests at heart, and that's why we aim for the maximum speed we can achieve while preserving the quality of your material. Speed means picture editors seeing your images means sales. If errors occur we will hold our hands up and admit to them.
We want you to hit the front page, it makes us happy! We've got your best photos up on our office walls to remind us why we're here in the first place.
Let me hear your thoughts. Should we have an error and changes box somewhere on the site as The Wall Street Journal, Guardian and The Daily Mail do?
Strong journalistic instincts are integral to being a photojournalist. Asking questions, finding out names, dates and times. These questions are asked by newspapers as they want context, so we do background research and add this to captions.
Uploading should take minutes, never hours. If it is taking hours you may be experiencing a serious technical problem. If this is happening to you, you should send support (at) demotix.com any error messages and screenshots you have, so we can fix it. During this problem you may be locked out of your stories, and publishers may never have touched or seen it.
We do not edit or send out the main article text. We feel this is your free platform to air your views, or simply to write a descriptive article on the events you've photographed. Photo editors never see this - they source images from us. Title, media summary, captions and keywords are the only text parts that are pushed to clients and buyers. Those are the areas you should focus on when you upload - you can always come back and improve or add to the main article text later.
Captions and Keywords can be imported from your IPTC data. The Title and Media Summary will be imported via the new Demotix App, if you choose to upload via smartphone. Sooner or later you will be able to import all the information in your story from other sources, spending no time on the site - leaving you free to keep moving and shooting.
You can already upload to Demotix in multiple ways - don't stick with web upload if it's causing you frustrations.
The Website - Clicking ‘Upload News’ on any page will take you to the upload page.
The Desktop Uploader - Downloading the program will speed up your process from your desktop, and is available on Windows, Mac and Linux. Desktop Uploader Link
FTP Transfer - For power users, you can transfer your images to us using FTP into your existing media folder. FTP Upload Link
PhotoShelter FTP Transfer - You can transfer your images to us using FTP into your existing media folder. FTP Upload Link
Mobile Upload - Apple App, Android coming soon.
So feel free to explore our FAQ Publishing FAQ or further read into how you can become quicker and sell more by visiting Uploading Reports, Getting it Right or share your views below in the comment section.