Ina Fried

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NBC News Scooping Up Mobile Video Site Stringwire

The notion that anyone with a phone who witnesses news is a potential source for news video has been around for a while.

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CNN, for example, has long had its iReport app. Twitter itself has become the go-to source for many kinds of widely witnessed breaking news, such as protests and plane crashes.

NBC News is now looking to get into the act, scooping up startup Stringwire. The deal is set to be formally announced on Monday, though the company spilled all the beans to the New York Times for a piece that was posted on Sunday.

“You could get 30 people all feeding video, holding up their smartphones, and then we could look at that,” NBC News digital chief Vivian Schiller told the Times. “We’ll be able to publish and broadcast some of them.”

The deal is more of an “acqhire,” the Times reports, with the developer of Stringwire — Phil Groman — joining NBC News.

Both Schiller and Groman confirmed the deal in separate tweets on Sunday.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work