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KTVU admits crusade to scrub gaffe from YouTube

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KTVU admits it is actively seeking the removal of video clips published to YouTube that show an embarrassing and unfortunate report broadcasted on July 12.

The station has started sending copyright infringement notices to YouTube against accounts that have uploaded at least two clips from a KTVU news broadcast: One in which newsreader Tori Campbell misidentifies four pilots aboard Asiana Airlines Flight 214 and another which shows Campbell acknowledging the earlier report as erroneous.

Both video clips went viral on July 12 after they were published online. The attention prompted KTVU to issue, and then re-issue, several apologies throughout the day.

On Saturday, The Desk noted that KTVU had begun filing copyright infringement notices with YouTube ordering the removal of both clips. KTVU managers have yet to respond to The Desk’s multiple inquiries for comment, but in a statement released to on Monday, KTVU general manager Tom Raponi said the crusade to scrub YouTube of the gaffe was out of consideration for the Asian-American community.

“Consistent with our apology, we are carrying through on our responsibility to minimize the thoughtless repetition of the video by others,” Raponi said, adding that “most people have seen it” and that “continuing to show the video is also insensitive and offensive, especially to the many in our Asian community.”

Raponi did not explain why KTVU was also ordering the removal of videos that showed Campbell’s on-air retraction. When they were available, the videos had been embedded by many news organizations that covered the error, including the Huffington Post, Radar and the Los Angeles Times.

Last week, the Asian American Journalists Association said it had met with KTVU’s management regarding the incident. Describing the meeting as “constructive,” the advocacy group said it had a better understanding as to how the four erroneous names made it to air and said the station “reiterated its deep remorse over the incident.”

The AAJA said it would work with KTVU in the future on “various initiatives” that the station promised to take in order to “improve its journalistic practices and repair its relationship with the Asian American community.”

The Desk reached out to AAJA president Paul Cheung for comment on the station’s decision to file copyright infringement notices against YouTube accounts that had uploaded the video of the gaffe. Cheung initially responded by saying the AAJA “will be releasing an updated statement later this week on the details of our meeting with KTVU.”

In a follow-up email, Cheung said the decision to pull the videos from YouTube was KTVU’s alone and advised The Desk to reach out to the station directly for comment.

Managers at KTVU have not returned multiple inquiries from The Desk on the matter.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is an award-winning journalist with more than 10 years of experience covering the business of television and radio broadcasting, streaming services and the overall media industry. In addition to his work as publisher of The Desk, Matthew contributes regularly to StreamTV Insider and KnowTechie, and has worked for several well-known news organizations, including Thomson Reuters, McNaughton Newspapers, Grasswire, Comstock's magazine, KTXL-TV and KGO-TV. Matthew is a member of IRE, a trade organization for investigative reporters and editors, and is based in Northern California.

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