The Blairite ‘Red Roar’ site routinely and ineffectually attacks Labour’s leader Jeremy Corbyn, to such an extent it is variously referred to by Labour supporters as the ‘blue squeak’, ‘blue bore’ and even less flattering epithets. Unlike the main left media news sites, it is run anonymously and without regulatory oversight – and has been caught pushing hilariously untrue stories.
But its latest embarrassment involves the theft of someone’s work, rather than a simple lie.
Desperate for material for yet another attack on Corbyn, the site found a video of Jeremy Corbyn talking to an Irish audience about Ireland’s two referendums on the Lisbon Treaty – and claimed it as an ‘exclusive’, complete with its own logo added.
Of course, Corbyn’s points were entirely reasonable and would have resonated with his Irish audience – the Irish were made to have another vote on Lisbon sixteen months after rejecting it the first time. Such facts aren’t relevant to a desperate Labour right.
But the video was not exclusive – nor did the ‘Squeak’ have any right to use it, as its maker quickly pointed out:
The site has not removed the footage and has ignored Ms Geraghty’s complaints which, as she told the SKWAWKBOX this morning, included direct messages.
But the behaviour of the supposedly mainstream media was no better. Numerous press outlets and broadcasters – including the BBC – simply took the Squeak’s pirated footage and recycled it for their own coverage, without bothering to contact Ms Geraghty about it.
Ms Geraghty told the SKWAWKBOX:
[The BBC] didn’t even verify the footage. With all the furore around Russian interference in elections, it’s very strange that British news organisations simply take footage uncritically without verifying it.
As a journalist, I’m fed up with people just nicking my stuff and thinking they can use it. That video’s had over a million views now and where’s the accountability?
I’m getting assistance from the NUJ with this, but I just find it incredibly strange that news organisations just take these things unquestioningly and don’t verify rather than just taking verbatim what an anonymous political site says about it. I’m easy enough to find, but they did no due diligence. How hard can it be? But there was clearly no attempt to verify the footage, let alone ask me for permission to use it.
We have nothing to say on this one.A BBC spokesperson
The SKWAWKBOX contacted the BBC to ask why it had participated in the unauthorised use of a film-maker’s footage without permission or due diligence. A BBC spokesperson replied:
We have nothing to say on this one.
Ms Geraghty pointed out the impact of the theft of her work in response to a sympathetic comment by a fellow Irish journalist on Twitter:
Readers who wish to view Ms Geraghty’s video of Jeremy Corbyn’s speech legitimately can do so via her Vimeo page here.
Paula Geraghty makes her living from her work and the theft of it by an anonymous site for mischief-making and clickbait must be intensely frustrating.
But while no better might be expected from an anonymous site as poor as the risible ‘Red Roar’, the behaviour of the BBC and other supposedly-professional media outlets toward a journalist’s intellectual property rights has been nothing short of scandalous.
But the BBC’s arrogant reaction was even worse than its complicity in the original theft. The Corporation’s response was dismissive to an extent that is shocking even for those used to shoddy behaviour and a lack of accountability by the UK’s national broadcaster.
It seems all’s fair in love and war – and especially the Establishment war on Jeremy Corbyn and his policies.
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