More Examples Of Newspapers 'Parasiting' Blogs

from the and-again-and-again-and-again dept

I think this particular angle has been played out with a few previous examples, but I did want to post one final example of how common it appears for newspapers to copy stories from blogs without giving any credit at all. If Ian Shapira was upset that Gawker “only” gave him three links, I wonder what he feels about a long list of newspapers taking a story from a blog and giving no credit at all (found via Mathew Ingram). The story involves the news that the military is banning the use of certain social networks — a story researched and broken on a blog by Noah Shachtman, but in newspaper after newspaper after newspaper after newspaper, no such credit is given. As the original link above points out, this is part of an outdated view of “journalism”:

This isn’t the fault of any individual reporter. It’s the fault of an outdated newspaper convention that equates proper referencing with an admission of professional failure. Before the internet, it was pretty easy to get away with slighting your colleagues. But now that everyone has GoogleNews at their fingertips, it looks like exactly what it is: churlish and archaic vanity. Everyone can see who got the story first. Not a single reader, I’ll bet, will ever say, “Aha! Because Noah Shachtman got the story first, clearly Julian Barnes is an inferior reporter!”

I don’t even think it’s that big of a deal. But it’s just how stories spread. No one “owns” the news. Giving credit where credit is due is a nice and neighborly (online) thing to do (which is why we always try to credit where we found a story or who alerted us to it), but in the grand scheme of things, it’s pretty meaningless overall. It’s pretty silly to suddenly be making a big deal of it — and the only reason to do so appears to be some newspaper folks who can’t figure out how to fix things, and instead are lashing out at anyone else who seems to be getting attention. First it was Craigslist. Then Google. Now blogs. But none of that actually solves the newspapers’ problem of building business models for the twenty-first century.

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Comments on “More Examples Of Newspapers 'Parasiting' Blogs”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Then there’s the “quality product” thing. Blogs are actually cooler in this regard, since I can read several versions and takes on the same issue if the issue interests me, where with news sites and news papers I get only the point of view of that particular reporter. I try to get all my news in blogs, even the ones I discover via traditional media, because the variety of angles interests me.

Anonymous Coward says:

Here’s the rub. While Noah Shachtman may have broken the story, these stories are not a duplication of a story. In the same manner that newspapers often write stories that first broke on CNN, or TV news might run with a story that first broke in USA Today, this is just normal and par for the course.

You don’t see media reporting who original broke each story, do you?

After all, did Noah Shachtman get a copyright on the story?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The second he wrote it and published it (since this is the US we’re talking about) there was copyright protection available. “Registration” is not necessary. Also, these newspaper stories took a great deal of information from this guy’s blog rather than research it themselves. So failure to cite him as a source is improper.

Anonymous Coward says:

I think it’s not the point whether Noah owns the news or not. He doesn’t (it’s factual information) and I don’t think he’ll care if he did own it. The point is newspapers accusing blogs of “ripping them off” when it’s just something that happens in the news scene, and that it’s cool. And newspapers not having the balls to say “I took the tip from a blog”.

Overtkill (profile) says:


Newspapers harping and whining only serves to more negative PRESS. 🙂

My opinion is: This is why good RSS feeds exists. Then they are offering you the chance to read their articles and present them to you directly. If the public likes what they read, they will likely follow the feed to the paper’s website for more news. But then this is a 21st century solution.

Locally, the newspaper agency here built the most god awful looking building (,-112.026633&sspn=0.006478,0.013314&filter=0&rq=1&ev=zi&radius=0.35&ll=40.665761,-112.02467&spn=0,359.996671&z=19&iwloc=A&layer=c&cbll=40.665878,-112.024652&panoid=bA2rGx3L8KXOANIujEf7YQ&cbp=12,238.75,,0,5 ), and moved both the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News into it. Is this suppose to make us believe the paper is hip? I see it as a waste of construction materials. The Tribune’s website ( ) has come a long way in the past couple of years, adding advertisements and such to supplement their income.

I believe the paper will eventually have to move to online only, ending the “paper” circulation, once the older generation either passes away or moves online reading. I give them a max of 10 or so years before this happens. This seems to be the case in many cities.

SURSUGATHALANA (user link) says:

Re: PHW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YUK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

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