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footage surfaces of someone/something

What does it mean?

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The common news idiom “footage surfaces” means that video has come to public attention, usually online through social media.

For example, somebody can record video of a newsworthy event like an attack or a demonstration. They might then take days to upload it to social media (eg: YouTube) and then it can take weeks to come to the attention of news outlets. The news outlets then publish the video (“footage”) with a description like, “Footage has surfaced of the attack which occurred last month in the disputed territory of Trelvia.” In headlinese this might be abbreviated as:

Footage surfaces of Trelvia attack

Here footage generally means a bit of electronically recorded video but originally meant, "the length of film used to record a scene, event, etc.,"

Surfaces is used figuratively to refer to something “floating to the surface” so that it comes to our attention.

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