Star Tribune criticized for co-opting YouTube video of Mall Brawl

Categories: Media, Media beefs
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Did the Star Tribune miscredit the Mall Brawl video?
The Star Tribune is being criticized on a popular media blog for improperly crediting a YouTube video as well as importing it into their custom media player in order to serve advertisements on it.

Jim Romenesko reports he received the tip from "a Twin Cities journalist who asked not to be named," and has reached out to the Star Tribune's Stan Schmidt for comment.

"The Minneapolis Star Tribune did something that is one of my biggest pet peeves in the journalism world," the anonymous tipster writes. "The Star-Tribune posted it to their site, but instead of embedding the video via YouTube, they imported it into their own player."

The tipster also takes issue with how the piece was credited -- to "YouTube" rather than to the user who filmed and posted the video.

"I think that's analogous to the Star-Tribune being credited as 'The paper,'" reads the complaint. "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."

If this is a sin at all, it seems more venal than mortal, and Romenesko points out that most organizations that used screenshots of the Mall Brawl credited YouTube
(including us). One reason: The original video, which was widely circulated on the nightly news on Monday, has been taken down, so it's unclear where it originated (it has since been copied and re-uploaded by other users).

As more news gets recorded and uploaded by citizens, this is bound to be an ongoing discussion.

UPDATE: Star Tribune Assistant Managing Editor/Digital Terry Sauer offers this well-reasoned response to Romenesko:
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.
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* Violent melee caught on tape at Mall of America [VIDEO]

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ive known kevin for years, nothing but garbage friend.


another pathetically transparent attempt to badmouth the competition.

please, Kevin, before you criticize the practices of other media sources, take a good look at your own archives.


I always love comments like these.  We've got unsupported accusations AND a claim of media bias.  It's a two-fer!

Let's review the facts:The Blotter is a BLOG about the news and media.Another media source (Jim Romenesko), has published a story about another media source (STrib).The Blotter blogs about the fact that this story is out there.

Pray tell, how is this "another pathetically transparent attempt to badmouth the competition"?  In fact, please explain how CityPages and The STrib are even competitors?  They serve GREATLY different functions!  No New Yorker in their right mind would compare The New York Times with The Village Voice.  No TCer in their right mind would compare The Star Tribune with CityPages.

This piece is written in a straight-forward, non-snarky manner.  The post CLEARLY confesses that CP did the SAME thing with their accreditation.

Your finger-pointing just comes off as petty and distracting. 


The most important words of the story are the first two of the headline: "Star Tribune criticized." After that, not much else matters, since CP has accomplished its goal, which is negative phrasing associated with the STrib for search engine hits. And a light search of CP's archives will lead you to several examples of STrib bashing for mostly banal and inconsequential offenses.

And bullshit CP and the STrib aren't competitors. Have you ever heard of It's an arm of the STrib, and it's CP's #1 local competitor. And Minneapolis is a fraction of the size of NYC; you can't compare them as news markets.

If Kevin wanted to write a blog post about the ethics of using and citing You Tube videos in news stories, that would be cool, but his habit of taking digs at the STrib every chance he gets is what really comes off as "petty and distracting." I admire your defense of his practices, but I just can't agree with you.

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