Monday, August 08, 2005

Credit

I've received some feedback about my personal brouhaha regarding the Post not crediting DCist for a story that we broke. Most of it has been supportive, but a few comments were, um, less than polite, and a few were of the attitude that this stuff is going to happen anyway, it's not that big of a deal, and you should just brush it off.

Admittedly since I came home that night, outraged and, well, a little tipsy, my rage has definitely subsided, but I still think it's a big deal. I mean, this particular instance isn't that big of a deal (mostly because the story itself wasn't that big). But the attitude that it reflects is. The fabric of online journalism is the following: credit and link, then credit and link some more. If DCist were to take a smaller, less-noticed story from the Post, that they had obviously broken, and try to pass it off as our own, you can bet there would be some repercussions. Simply because the Post is a media giant and we're a small site doesn't mean they shouldn't be doing the same in the reverse case. (It has been pointed out to me that DCist aggregates much of the Post's content and that we wouldn't be around if it weren't for their news so we should suck it up. I totally agree that we use tons of their stories for morning roundups or ideas for other entries, but that's not the point at all; we have NEVER ever mentioned anything from the Post without, at the very least, a link, and usually a citation like "The Post reports...")

As Rafat from PaidContent.org said (in a post I can't find any longer, strangely enough): "One of the defense bigger news sources have employed in the past is ignorance, ignorance that they never knew it was on a smaller site like ours. In this hyper-technorati-feedster-google-blogpulse linkedup world, ignorance is not bliss, it is idiocy. For journalist, there is no sin bigger than laziness."

In an age before new media and the internet and hyperconnectivity, this probably wouldn't have even been an issue. But in an age when you can cite and find every source on every story in every cache, there's no excuse not to give credit where it's due.

The Post credited us before; why not this time? Could it have been that that story was on page DZ02 and this story was on page B01? LAME.

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