How it started: Nick Tapper's photo of a Buckingham Palace protest made the Evening Standard's front page


A Queenstowner converts news footage shot by any ‘Joe Citizen’ around the world into cold hard cash.

Local G.J.Gardner Homes franchisee Nick Tapper started Sell-It.Media three years ago.

People send in newsworthy eyewitness photos or videos, his business contacts media who might be interested, and those who’re keen then bid against each other for the right to publish the image.

The successful bidder then passes that fee to ‘Joe Citizen’, and also pays a commission to
Tapper’s business.

He launched it after his own experience in London in 1993, when he photographed demonstrators trying to scale a wall into Buckingham Palace.

The protesters had their own photographer, but Tapper’s image still made the cover of the Evening Standard — however his cheque only paid for a budget weekend in Greece.

He subsequently worked as a senior TV producer in Britain and New Zealand before moving to Queenstown.

He says media often ‘‘rip off’’ images from Facebook pages — ‘‘in our mind, we don’t think that’s very fair’’.

Entrepreneur: Sell-It.Media owner Nick Tapper

But as well as rewarding ‘Joe Citizen’, he says his company makes newsgathering easier for media.

The biggest payday he’s brokered was for someone who provided police bodycam footage from last year’s murder of black man George Floyd in the States, which sparked mass protests.

‘‘We sold it to the Daily Mail Online for a significant sum — it would be someone’s yearly
salary, put it that way.’’

Tapper says he and his 20% partner are considering selling their business to someone who
could expand it further.