Saturday, June 11, 2011
Newspapers Pluck Fruit of Bloggers
In this internet age, information gleaned by bloggers appears to be tempting low-hanging fruit for the remaining short staffed newspapers. Back in April, The Morning Call, failed to properly attribute a story on the school district to my local blog, molovinsky on allentown. The reporter did reference my blog, but the editor removed my name and inserted "local blogger" instead. In a subsequent back and forth email, the editor defended his action by claiming the reporter verified all information himself. In my post and subsequent comments, I had both a comment from a school board member, and an email from the superintendent. Although the reporter did subsequently contact both gentleman himself to verify the information, nevertheless, the story originated with me. The newspaper's columnist joined the fray and defended the editor's position. In this era of struggling newspapers, the editor is boss of reporters who are understandably more interested in their jobs, than my ego. Other editors, of bigger newspapers , see the issue differently. Marcus Brauchli, of the Washington Post, says “Taking information without attribution is unethical and not in keeping with The Post’s standards of journalism. There are no mitigating circumstances for plagiarism.” The reporters at The Morning Call have told me that they read my blog. I would urge them to insist that I and other bloggers receive proper attribution when our material is sourced. Other bloggers who had material expropriated in a similar way, please add your testimony by comment. Welcome to The Morning Chronicle.