23 July 2013

On traditional media in the internet age

We all know traditional media is struggling in the internet age, some of them are trying various (usually bad, like paywalls) solutions, some are blaming the public, some are trying to cut costs, some are struggling, some are giving up. Here is one anecdote I witnessed recently, which shows the problem may sometime be content-related.
Last week I took a picture and posted it on social networks (facebook and g+). Unexpectedly, it exploded over the week-end and became viral on facebook. Sooner or later, traditional media reacted and some of the biggest TV stations and newspaper in the country picked my picture. Here is how:
I don't read newspapers (on paper) and I don't watch TV news, there is way too much bullshit, so what I saw was exclusively on their websites, I can't tell if/what happened on air or on paper. Is also to be noted the image was at the time available only on facebook and g+, in both places with public access and no watermark (I didn't expect it to become popular and I don't like watermarks anyway).

The first I noticed, was the website of Realitatea TV, which is a big news TV channel. And it was the worst: not only no credits for the image author, but is quite disingenious: the site claims the source is "Realitatea TV" and it is a "video capture", like it was their original content. This had upset me a bit and was the motivation to collect the usage and see if the others are doing it better or worse. realitatea
evz.ro is a "news portal" and the website for the Evenimentul zilei newspaper and they did a little better: at the bottom of the article they put the photographer name plain text. evz
Another newspaper, Gândul did it a little better: crediting the author they linked to his facebook account. gandul
ProTV is a top TV channel in the country (and on of the richest), they reacted late, only Monday (one day later is huge in news), but they credited the photographer along with a link to his facebook account. They also list themselves as the source, so it may have aired. protv
Last in my list is the website of another news TV channel, Romania TV. Also late in the game (Monday), they are straight: the news is picked from the above-mentioned Gândul, which is also watermarked in the picture. The way the image was edited and cropped suggest it was aired, not only published online. rtv

As a conclusion, I should add the content of all articles seems to be inspired from each other and their base is my short paragraph accompanying the picture, from where they expanded. At no point the photographer was contacted to verify the story, to ask for more info, for a larger version of the image, for more images (of course I have more). Of course, nobody asked for permission to use (content from my blogs is CC-BY-SA, content from social networks is not) or to offer payment. When they put so much work in their content, why they expect any respect?

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