Local media often gets ridiculed for a number of different reasons, but I’ve noticed one thing becoming more prevalent lately that really ticks me off. Given that sites like YouTube and Facebook have encouraged sharing photos and video in the past few years, it’s a given that local media looks up names on all of those types of sites when doing any number of different types of reports. Perhaps they just want to get a photo of someone or want to show some type of video as their “video of the day”.
That’s fine. I understand the privacy concerns, but if some reporter at a local TV news station can find your material, it’s because you chose to make it public. That’s an entirely separate issue, however. What irritates me about these instances is the incorrect and lazily attributed citation that they give this material. I guarantee you that nine times out of ten, you will see a video or photo shown in this manner attributed specifically to YouTube or Facebook. Joe Q. Public isn’t going to think too much of this, but there are a number of things wrong with this:
- They’re suggesting that they’ve contacted YouTube or Facebook directly requesting permission, which you know they haven’t.
- They’re failing to correctly credit the originator of the material, instead crediting the platform and not the user of it.
- Even though the material is public, the incorrect attribution suggests that they’ve not contacted the originator or family of the originator directly requesting permission to air it.
- It’s lazy half-assed journalism.
Perhaps the thing that scares me the most about this tactic is that it further distances content originators away from their material. If it weren’t for original content that these people are creating, sites like YouTube, Facebook, Digg, etc, would have nothing. These types of sites are already benefitting greatly from what we freely give them already, shame on the lazy media for further giving credit to where it’s not due.