Sunday, April 02, 2006

Surely you jest

Brad @ the BRAD BLOG weighs in on the latest wave of unatributed stories the AP (among others) has lifted from sources like Raw Story, Previously commented upon here.

Brad says it is important to get credit because credit conveys credibility.
While I'm very happy to see MSM outlets bring stories which orginated here to a wider audience, I don't seek personal credit for myself or this Internet news site simply because it's nice to see my name in the Washington Post or AP or USA Today.

The reason it's important for these outlets to give proper attribution -- aside from being polite and appropriate and professional and we always do the same for them -- is because their recognition of the credibility of our work from yesterday lends credibility to our work in the future.

Like RAW STORY, I've seen many huge and time-consuming articles of great importance simply ignored by the MSM and even many corners of the blogosphere. It's very easy, therefore, for the "bad guys" to simply dismiss our work, no matter how groundbreaking and well sourced, as "insignificant" under the notion that "if it was actually important or credible it would be reported by the mainstream media." I hear that quite a bit.

Yet when it is reported later by the MSM, sometimes days, weeks, months and now even years later, they feel they needn't mention where those stories orginated.

So tomorrow's time-consuming and important exposé will yet again be ignored (happily) by the "bad guys" until such time as AP or New York Times or the Fort Worth Star Telegram decides they wish to run a recycled version of the reporting as if it's their very own.
Alas, the reason they should give credit is precisely the reason why they don't. The last thing the MSM wants to do is give the new medium and the new messengers credibility. Every time we figure out and report stuff they are too stupid, or too lazy, or too co-opted to cover, we draw attention to their failures. Every time we document the Administration falsehoods they swallow, we remind them of the chasm between their talk and their walk. They may not clearly see that they are like squeaky-voiced silent film stars greeting the advent of talkies. But they do dimly understand that we are a threat, and they wish we would just. Shut. Up. No way are they going to help legitimize their unwelcome successors.

Update: Brad's piece is up in modified form on Editor & Publisher. Greg Mitchell really seems to get it. This is a venue that is aimed straight at the perps. I doubt it will do much good, but it will embarass the hell out of the guys at AP.


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