Stories for free, no attribution required

I recently blogged on some ‘citizen journalism’ that was contributed to the irishrepublican.net discussion forum, photographs from that forum entry subsequently appeared on an ATN article by Ciaran Barnes without attribution to the original source or any contact with the person that took them.

Recently Belfast Gonzo and I attended the protest over the Israeli violence in Gaza and I uploaded video taken by Belfast Gonzo and some photographs as part of my blog. The video later appeared on a BBC News report attributed to a ‘passer-by’ and quotes from the blog were attributed to a ‘bystander’. This was all amicably sorted out with the BBC journalist involved, not with the refused offer of payment but a promise to have an editorial discussion on attribution of content taken from online sources. It seems a local newspaper also lifted a photo from the same blog and included it without attribution.

While most of the time this and many other blogs rely on the MSM for sourcing content, they’re generally good about giving the source (and can get grief if they don’t or lift too directly) and while some media outlets like the main BBC actively seek out and attribute online content to bolster their coverage it seems our local media outlets are a little behind the game in accepting if you want to use content generated by others online the very least you should be considering is the common courtesy of saying where it came from.

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