In a post published earlier Tuesday on his blog, Four Four (fourfour.typepad.com), Mr. Juzwiak, a senior editor at VH1.com, recounted how he and Kate Spencer, the editor of the VH1 site TheFabLife.com, came up with the idea for a video compiling Ms. Swift’s facial reactions to her victories at the Country Music Association Awards, the Grammys and other awards ceremonies. On Nov. 16 they published their video, “Taylor Swift Is Surprised,” at Four Four and VH1.com.
That same day, Mr. Juzwiak said, he was contacted by Sean O’Rourke, a research coordinator for “The Tonight Show,” who wanted to use the video on the broadcast. In that conversation and in several subsequent exchanges, Mr. Juzwiak said, he expressed concern that he and Ms. Spencer be properly credited for their work.
The montage Mr. Leno played on Monday night seemed to take its inspiration from “Taylor Swift Is Surprised,” using several of the same awards-show scenes in the same order for the same duration. (The “Tonight Show” segment, however, uses some high-definition video where Mr. Juzwiak and Ms. Spencer’s segment used YouTube clips or video they recorded on their DVRs.)
But when Mr. Leno introduced the segment, he told Ms. Swift, “We put together a little montage of you being surprised.” Neither Mr. Juzwiak nor Ms. Spencer was mentioned, and Monday’s “Tonight Show” carried no closing credits.
In his post on Tuesday Mr. Juzwiak wrote that he wasn’t going to “stand by and watch when someone’s going to be so rude as to swipe something I worked on just because it was made for the Internet.”
He continued: “Newsflash to the mainstream media: just like you have actual human beings making you work, so does the Internet! A little respect for the people providing your content would be nice!”
This is a situation Mr. Juzwiak has found himself in before. In May NPR ran a correction to a report it had broadcast on “Morning Edition” and posted on npr.org about cellphones in contemporary horror movies, acknowledging that it “did not adequately attribute” a video Mr. Juzwiak posted in 2009 that the report drew on. (The NPR correction was published after Mr. Juzwiak waged a very public complaint campaign on his blog and on his Twitter account.)
In the case of “Taylor Swift Is Surprised” Mr. Juzwiak said that he had been told by “The Tonight Show” that he and Ms. Spencer would receive attribution on Tuesday for their contributions, an account that was confirmed by a press representative at NBC.
Early Wednesday morning, just before Mr. Leno signed off for the night, “The Tonight Show” made good on its word: a credit appeared that read, “Last night’s Taylor Swift montage provided by Rich Juzwiak of fourfour.typepad.com and Kate Spencer of thefablife.com.”
In a telephone interview on Wednesday morning Mr. Juzwiak said he almost preferred that “The Tonight Show” had credited him and Ms. Spencer after the fact rather than up front, explaining that this paid him higher dividends in “the economy of attention.”
“It’s preferable just in the sense that it gets me more attention,” he said. “A lot more people cared. I feel like a few people would have high-fived me on Twitter if they had seen this thing go down. This reached people who don’t care about Jay Leno whatsoever, who weren’t watching his show anyway.”
A press representative for “The Tonight Show” declined to comment further on Wednesday.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Adventures In The Economy of Attention