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Dealing with News Video, Warts and All

One of the powerful things about our Web site is our video. We have lots of it. And for the most part it is cutting edge, newsy, and relevant (something a lot of our competition can't really claim).

But our video also gives me a lot of agita.

You see, as a general rule we take all the interviews, packages, and roundtable discussions you see on CNBC air and routinely put them onto our Web site. We also do some original video and some "web extra" video. It's great having all that material. The problems come when somebody wants us to take a video down or go back and edit something out.

That's a serious issue. Publishing something onto a news Web site, in my view, is the same as publishing a newspaper article or broadcasting a television news program. You don't go back and "revise" it or make it disappear. That's a creepy, almost Big Brother kind of thing.

Yet we get requests to do just that (often by fellow journalists, which I find a little disturbing). The reasons range from the serious to the trivial. Somebody made a factual misstatement ... that's serious. But there are some who want videos down because they don't feel they came off too well or they said something they shouldn't have. Once someone wanted a piece down because they had a "bad hair" day (not at CNBC ... in my previous life).

Of course if somebody on air said something factually wrong about a situation or another entity, the video should come down. It doesn't do readers any good to have bad information on the site.

But pulling video for the rest of the reasons? In some cases it could be viewed as a retraction of sorts. In others, just revisionist. Either way I resist it. Strongly.

But sometimes I wonder if it is worth the agita. Can a few of you readers let me know?