One of the things that has annoyed me is that the few times I’ve broken stories (this blog is mainly in the business of commentary and analysis, not reporting), I’ve had it picked up by the MSM and not been attributed as the party that broke the story.
This kind of “bloggers as second class citizens” behavior by the MSM continues in a wee scandal at the New York Times. The New York Times issued an apology of sorts to the Wall Street Journal because one of its Dealbook reporters, Zack Kouwe, was picking up stories broken by other news publications and not crediting the source (the curious can read the details, courtesy the New York Observer).
Teri Buhl at the Connecticut Post describes how Dealbook had failed give Mortgage Implode-o-Meter credit for story it broke on IndyMac:
E-mails were sent to the NYT’s Andrew Ross Sorkin altering him of the news break on December 26th. Then to Kouwe on December 28th asking for an explanation on why Dealbook did not credit Mortgage Implode-O-Meter, when half a dozen other publications including the LA Times had. According to Dealbook’s Web site at the time, Sorkin was listed as Dealbook’s editor. Sorkin did not respond but Kouwe did. In a letter to the author of the story seen by Greenwich Time Kouwe wrote:
I don’t know what to tell you. Things move so quickly on the Web that citing who had it first is something that is likely going away, especially in the age of blogs.
The New York Time Company corporate Web site states:
Dealing With Competitors
33. We compete zealously but deal with competitors openly and honestly. We do not invent obstacles to hamstring their efforts. When we first use facts originally reported by another news organization, we attribute them.
This last sentence seems to contradict what was actually the mindset of this NYT Dealbook reporter.
Kouwe also wrote:
For instance Dealbreaker and other blogs report on a lot of stories, but I don’t think anybody has ever cited them as being first with a particular scoop. I’ve had it happen to me a bunch of times at The Post and it really didn’t bother me because most readers just don’t care. They don’t read bylines and they don’t care about whether one paper cited a website or another paper in their stories.
Yves here. The story also describes a 2008 incident where Dealbook took a story from Dealbreaker without giving credit, and indicated that there have been other Dealbook stories where Dealbreaker readers complained in comments that Dealbook should have indicated that Dealbreaker originated the story (some of these cases are not as clear cut, since the source that leaked the story to Dealbreaker may have done so independently to the New York Times).
AOL’s Dailyfinance reports that Krouwe has been suspended.