Does your news organization credit YouTube or the video creator?
A Twin Cities journalist who asked not to be named sends this email:
The Minneapolis Star Tribune did something that is one of my biggest pet peeves in the journalism world. Up here yesterday, we had a 200-person brawl at Mall of America. Being 2011, someone took video of the melee on their phone. And being 2011, someone posted it to YouTube. The Star-Tribune posted it to their site, but instead of embedding the video via YouTube, they imported it into their own player. One can only assume this was to put ads in front of it. I think that’s tacky, but not terribly so.
But where they really screwed up, in my sometimes-humble opinion, is they credited the video to “YouTube,” rather than to the creator of the video. I think that’s analogous to the Star-Tribune being credited as “The paper.” I think a lot of journalists think anything that’s on YouTube or Flickr is their’s for the taking and there’s no need to credit the actual creator of the work. It smacks of that whole idea that anything on the Internet is fair to use. Ask Judith Griggs how that turned out for her!
I did some searching and found that most news outlets credited YouTube for their Mall melee images. The screenshot above — from Google Images — was also credited to YouTube.
I’ve invited the Star Tribune – check your email Stan Schmidt! – to respond.
UPDATE: Terry Sauer, Assistant Managing Editor/Digital, sends this response:
Regarding the YouTube videos on the Mall of America violence Monday, we probably could have crafted a tighter credit line, but the reasons behind going this route included our wanting to grab a compilation of more than one video since none on their own were all that great, being able to dub out the foul language and also not subject users to the racist comments on YouTube. In addition, crediting users on YouTube generally only yields an anonymous user name, and not their real name. I’ll also point out we do not have any preroll advertising on this video.