Shiny Media (ta, Katherine) team are justifiably annoyed at the BBC Panorama team using them and then ignoring their existence in creating their programme about child exploitation in the production of Primark clothes:
Yet while the programme highlighted low pay and child labour the programme makers seemed to have no ethical qualms about screwing British journalists.
Researchers from Panorama contacted the Catwalk Queen team (btw Catwalk Queen is the UK’s most-read pure fashion website – compare it with Vogue, Cosmo and the others etc on Google Trends) and asked if they could film the team talking about why and how Primark had become so popular in the UK. The Panorama team then spent three hours filming at shiny offices, which basically cost Shiny nine hours worth of blogging.
The team’s opinions were widely used throughout the show and in many ways their views held the piece together. However while every other single person on the show received a credit along with their work title (Mary Portas got a plug for her business, Yellowdoor, twice), the Catwalk team were not credited in any way. Instead only their names were used and they were billed as fashionistas or Primark fans.
Even worse, while the SS team’s videos of the opening of a Primark store were opened, they were credited to “YouTube”. Oooh yes, YouTube. It creates lots of stuff.
Certainly this tendency to think that because people blog they’re (a) happy to get any exposure (b) not that important except as a source of opinion is one that’s taking some time to permeate through the many, many layers of conventional news organisations.
Then again, the instinct in many news organisations is not to give anyone credit for any piece of information if you can make the pretence that you somehow got it yourself. I think that one will take a long time to die. And it’s also news organisation tradition not to acknowledge people who might be your competition – or are your competition – unless you really have to. Which may go some way to explaining it.
Update: Neil doesn’t like the Beeb on it much either. Though I’d point out: the BBC is emphatically not taxpayer-funded. (It’s one of the reasons we haven’t drawn it in to the Free Our Data campaign. You can choose not to have a TV, in which case you’ll pay no licence fee, yet get the radio and internet stuff for free. Which is very different from, say, getting data out of Ordnance Survey.