The great blog rip off continues…

It’s worth getting a hold of the Power of the Commentariat report. It features a short section on the relationship between blogs and the mainstream media, which quotes an interview I gave earlier in the year on the always vexed issue of the protocols adopted by journalists when dealing with material sourced through blogs:

“measuring the impact of blogs on the mainstream media is a real problem because journalists never acknowledge their source even when it is another media source. They don’t give credit where it is due – which, these days, is often to blogs, not newspapers.”

. It is inconceivable that a newspaper would get away with not naming the BBC or a rival newspaper when quoting exclusive material. Yet, with blogs it happens absolutely routinely. Jazz Biscuit complains about not one, but two newspapers who seem to have lost his ‘exclusive’ on the Dustin poster photo somewhere along the line.

  • Mick, here’s an ‘exclusive’ that was acknowledged in the Times, no less – and one that hasn’t been ‘ripped off’ – yet 😉

  • In other words, we’re rewriting an old saw:

    Little fleas have bigger fleas
    Upon their backs to bite ’em,
    And bigger fleas have well-paid fleas,
    And so ad infinitum.

    On the odd occasion it’s befallen me, I’ve ascribed it to “synchronicity”.

  • Briso
  • willis

    Of course it does work the other way where a humble IT worker creates a satirical website.

    Which incurs the wrath of a “proper journalist”. Cue sacking from day job.

    Not quite so humble ex-employee now embarks on a career? as columnist and general wit about town finally ending up with the sort of gig that the “proper journalist” could only dream of:

    The Price of Plurality

    Choice, Diversity and
    Broadcasting Institutions
    in the Digital Age

    Published by
    Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism
    Department of Politics and International Relations
    University of Oxford
    13 Norham Gardens
    Oxford, OX2 6PS

    The section on Wales was written by:

    Geraint Talfan Davies is Chairman of the Institute of Welsh Affairs,
    Welsh National Opera and a former Controller of BBC Wales. Having
    worked in newspapers he spent twelve years in ITV news and current
    affairs and became Director of Programmes with Tyne Tees Television.
    A former member of the Radio Authority and Chair of the Arts Council
    of Wales, he is a trustee of the Media Standards Trust.

    The section on Scotland was written by:

    Philip Schlesinger is Professor in Cultural Policy and Academic Director
    of the Centre for Cultural Policy Research at the University of Glasgow.
    He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Royal Society
    of Arts, an Academician of the Academy of the Social Sciences, and
    a member of Ofcom’s Advisory Committee for Scotland.

    Neither of these people had any experience in writing a satirical newspaper column and thus failed to spot the comic potential inherent in a weighty report on plurality on broadcasting (224 pages)

    Not so our hero.

    His first paragraph announced that his writing style was not to be corrupted by the cerebral company he was now keeping.

    “Only two organisations in history have ever referred to Northern
    Ireland as a ‘nation’. The first was Tara, a far-right Paisleyite cult from
    the 1970s which also believed that Ulster Protestants were the lost tribe
    of Israel. The other is the BBC, which ranks Northern Ireland as one of
    ‘the nations’ within the United Kingdom.”

    His trademark contempt for journalists and indigenous? languages is not forgotten.

    “It was noticeable that BBC
    Spotlight began heading downmarket at exactly the same time. This
    is worrying when the BBC is the only media outlet in Northern Ireland
    that can afford to mount long-term investigations. In February 2007,
    Spotlight won an RTS award for a seventeen-month investigation
    into dog-fighting in South Armagh, which revealed that dog-fighting
    occurs in South Armagh and it is not very nice. This award will only
    encourage the downmarket trend.”

    “Like much of the public
    sector, BBC Northern Ireland has seized on Ulster-Scots as a possible
    counterweight to ‘balance’ the issue. Ulster-Scots is a unionist project
    designed to spike the Irish lobby’s guns by classifying a Ballymena
    accent as a language. The absurdity of this claim is underscored by
    the failure of the Council of Europe’s office of minority languages to
    find a single ‘native speaker’, despite spending a fortune trying to find
    one, and also by the failure of the Ulster-Scots Agency to compile a
    dictionary despite having a decade and £4 million to do so. This has
    not stopped Radio Ulster producing a half-hour Ulster-Scots magazine
    programme, A Kist O Wurds, which it puts out weekly after Blas,
    creating the distinct and perhaps not entirely accidental impression
    of a ‘Dead and Made-Up Languages Hour’. BBC Northern Ireland’s
    dead and made-up language original television output now stands
    at twelve hours a year for Irish and 3.6 hours a year for Ulster-Scots.”

    Good knockabout stuff but unusual for a learned tome. Quite what the rest of the UK thinks I can only guess.

  • willis
  • It happened to me as well, again, only this time with the Evening Herald. It has since been sorted out and I’m happy with the outcome 🙂

    Not happy that it happened in the first place and only for an eagle eyed photoblogger who saw it in teh paper and then came across mine a few days later I would be completely unaware that it was used. Anyway as I said it is now sorted and I’m happy.

  • That satisfaction is what most papers don’t get. The deal on the net’s free economy is largely about attribution. You give it, we’re happy. Unless, I guess, ‘you’ (the MSM) end up making shedloads of cash out it. Then again, that’s the terms of the original deal.

  • great post.