Time for another blogger ethics review panel

This is appalling. How dare a mere blogger do the research, write up a detailed account, and break an important health story before the NY Times writes it up without recognition of the source? Some will demand that the NY Times retroactively acknowledge the work and expertise of the blogger, but nay — that is not the one true way. Bloggers should proactively acknowledge the possibility that the NY Times might someday use their research and rewrite their stories for them.

grateful acknowledgment
The NY Times hasn’t published anything about this article yet, but if they do, this post was the product of borrowing their future hard work and good name. With my magic time machine.


  1. says

    Ah, professional journalism!

    On a much more important note, can I borrow your magic time machine? I really need to see how the baseball playoffs turn out.

  2. James Stein says

    You can leave comments on the news to NYT’s senior editors’ voicemail at 1-888-698-6397. You should mention the NYT piece is called “Doctor Links a Man’s Illness to a Microwave Popcorn Habit”, it’s by GARDINER HARRIS, and published: September 5, 2007.

    I called the NYT to complain. Others should also. It’s only fair that the person they *stole their news from* should at least get cited.

  3. Fernando Magyar says

    Ah! All the news that is fit to print? No acknowledgment really necessary. I mean its just free information on the internets. Right? As for that magic time machine, I have this office football pool I’m taking part in. Any chance I could take just a little tiny eensy bitsy peek? Please! Oh, BTW, I started reading Pharyngula about the same time I stopped reading the New York Times ;)

  4. JohnnieCanuck, FCD says

    The author(s) of the Wikipedia article on Diacetyl didn’t have any trouble finding and citing The Pump Handle. They even give him first published acknowledgement.

    The buttery taste of California Chardonneys, uh oh.

  5. autumn says

    I know that I am preaching to an absent choir, but “active” is the word that means what everyone thinks “proactive” means. There is already an established word in English which denotes a response to a situation, as opposed to steps taken before a situation arises. That word is “reaction”. Unless the word “reaction” is removed from the lexicon, “action” is the word that denotes steps taken in anticipation of an event.
    The prefix “pro” added to the useful word “action” would seem to indicate either a state prior to action, or a state of being in favor of action.

    Stop the idiotic “proactive” madness.

  6. El Cid says

    The account of the My Lai massacre by Seymour Hersh was first published in the Dispatch News Service, a tiny left-leaning syndication service, before it was picked up by any larger newspapers.

    However, even this was a year after a number of veterans including Ron Ridenhour had written to many officials (including Nixon & many Congressmen) and major newspapers and magazines reporting the information they were encountering, and none of Big Media were interested in the story.

    Until, of course, it came out.

    So, you’d better get used to blogs being the farm teams for stories for the major news producers, as they are stupendously conservative and cowardly in their reporting, and will use any excuse to let someone else do it first.


  7. says

    I hate to say this, but not crediting your sources is pretty standard practice in MSM journalism. It’s bloggers who came up with the “innovation” of always linking to sources, and hunting down original sources, and even crediting the source that pointed you to the original source (via the “Via” convention). This is all earth-shatteringly fair and utopian from the perspective of old-line journalism (I know having been the victim of having my material — in the MSM — covered and not credited by other folks — also in the MSM.)

    I would suggest that the reason this never caught on in print was that, unlike the web where linkage = instant karma, there was never a real incentive to do this in print. I mean, facts aren’t copyrightable, so there’s no legal obligation to credit a source. Bloggers can crow about how much more ethical on this count they are than print journalists, but it’s good to remember that the bloggy conventions of attribution evolved in part because on the web, karma and traffic are related. Not so in print.

    Which isn’t to say that I’m not ecstatic that bloggers will be dragging the MSM into the 21st century on this (and many other) counts.

  8. stogoe says

    Traditional Media, if it’s to survive, needs to adapt. If that means actually citing your source instead of being a tool, so be it.

    Personally I’m waiting for their stock to fall to the point where enterprising bloggers can snatch up a majority share in the Grey Lady and restore her to her former (imagined) glory.

    inkadu @6, I went to undergrad at a place that had a pretty prestigious journalism school. That is, until the school of business staged a hostile takeover of both the school of journalism and the school of education.

    But even before then, the students were all narcissistic compulsive centrists pumped full of ‘pseudo-balance’ hormone.