Amateur Footage: A Global Study of User-Generated Content

How to Credit

Even when journalists want to credit, additional complications can hinder their efforts. A small percentage of uploaders are very clear that they don’t want to be credited. Sometimes this is to ensure their personal safety, particularly if they are sharing content from certain countries. Some people simply didn’t want to be named because they “just feel they’re doing a service. They’re not doing it for kudos.” It’s interesting to note that the AP has strict anonymity policies, so just because someone prefers not to be named, it doesn’t necessarily mean that AP is willing to source content as anonymous. Most newsrooms told us they preferred to use real names, rather than usernames; some even noted some difficult cases in which people with long, slightly silly usernames had given permission for their content to be used on the proviso that their username be visible. This is sometimes reason enough for news organizations not to use UGC. Other newsrooms wanted to use usernames, admitting that doing so signaled to audiences that they were using social networks and understand how they work.