Eat The Press

NYPost.gif

from NYPost.com

Today's kudos for impeccable media ethics go to the New York Post, which fails to credit bloggers not once, but twice, for stories that would have never crossed its radar screen were it not for the oft-maligned blogosphere. On a tip, TVNewser broke the news yesterday morning of Katie Couric's not-so discreetly airbrushed and slimmed down photo on the cover of a CBS magazine. This morning's Post ran a front page article on Couric's phantom weight-loss — but without any attribution to the source of the story, presumably leaving readers who don't know any better with the distinct impression that Post employees are really, really observant. The story is now a "legitimate" news item (with Drudge linking the headline item "CBS Makes Katie 'Slimmer'" to the NYP article) and CBS on the defensive: this morning's NY Daily News quotes CBS News President Sean McManus as being "obviously surprised and disappointed when I heard about it," though Couric, to her credit, seems to be handling the whole thing with aplomb (remember, she's funny!). (Incidentally, the NYDN also fails to credit TVNewser over the "Photoshop shocker", though Romenesko, tellingly, gives credit to TVNewser in his own linked post. For good measure, the NY Post also failed to credit Wonkette for breaking the story of Kyra Phillips' live-mic bathroom snafu (ripped straight out of the opening scene of Naked Gun, for those who care to remember). Both NYP stories were written by Don Kaplan.

What makes this particularly egregious is how obvious the lift is: TVNewser is the leading cable news blog by a mile, avidly read by industry insiders and people who can't get enough of Anderson Cooper. TVNewser editor Brian Stelter posted the Couric item at 1:50 a.m. on August 29th, which meant it was front and center to greet morning media surfers. It was immediately picked up across the blogosphere (66 Technorati links and counting), with hits — and due credit — from Lost Remote, Pajamas Media, Instapundit, FishbowlNY, Newsbusters, LA Observed and our own Eat The Press. (Hat tip also to the international blogosphere, and Spain's Guerra Eterna, which sums it all up thusly: "Bueno, pues lo que la naturaleza no te puede dar ya, el photoshop sí te lo concede... En televisión, la imagen es fundamental." Well said, Iñigo, well said.)

This isn't the first time mainstream media outlets have run stories without attribution to online sources (recall, for instance, the still-unresolved case of the New York Times ripping off the Romenesko salary item from Mediacrity last summer), and it's one that TPM's Josh Marshall finds particularly vexing (see also MB's Greg Lindsay on the subject).

It's an interesting debate, and one worth having, in part because the stakes are real, and so are the principles involved. Notwithstanding the arguments made against the "derivative" nature of dubiously-assessed "online journalism"), one thing is clear: "Mainstream" journalists can't keep on knocking bloggers for being derivative when they continue to take credit for their work.

Sven Hodges

UPDATE: The AP has the story too — sans reference to TVNewser. Come on, people, do you think we can't read?

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: More at Google News. Sheesh. MSM, clean up your act.

HORRIFIED UPDATE TO THE UPDATE'S UPDATE: The CBS Public Eye blog writes up the item and credits the Daily News!!!! Public Eye, you're supposed to stand for transparency and accuracy and all that is fine and noble in journalism!!! Plus, don't you read TVNewser? Please fix.

With Rachel Sklar

Media Blogroll

Chatter

Romenesko Gawker TVNewser Wonkette Crooks & Liars CJR Daily Drudge Dealbreaker Dealbook Defamer Deadline Hollywood Daily Mickey Kaus Jeff Jarvis Radosh James Wolcott IWantMedia The Slot Bloggermann Jake Tapper Blogging Baghdad Russert Watch Jossip Mediabistro The Media Mob at the NY Observer The Transom FishbowlNY FishbowlDC FishbowlLA GalleyCat Reference Tone Panopticist The Minor Fall, The Major Lift Penguins On the Equator Gelf Magazine- Gelflog Animal (New York) White House Press Briefings Altercation
Page Six Liz & Cindy NYDN Gossip Intelligencer Reliable Source Patrick McMullan

Analysis

Jack Shafer Howard Kurtz WWD Memo Pad NYO Off The Record Broadsheet Gail Shister Keith Kelly NYT Business/Media Jay Rosen’s PressThink Fine on Media Simon Dumenco’s Media Guy Jon Friedman Media Matters The Guardian (Media) NRO Media Blog Columbia Journalism Review On The Media The Public Eye The Daily Nightly Today’s Papers Regret the Error Dan Froomkin David Folkenflik

Commentary

Slate Salon New York Magazine The New Yorker The New York Review of Books The New Republic The Nation Harper’s The Atlantic Monthly The Virginia Quarterly Review Vanity Fair Esquire n+1 The Believer

News

The New York Times The Washington Post The New York Observer The LA Times Time Newsweek US News & World Report Wall Street Journal Editor & Publisher NY Daily News NY Post USA Today NY Sun Times of London Financial Times The Smoking Gun McClatchy
NBC ABC CBS CNN Fox News MSNBC NPR Air America BBC C-SPAN Al Jazeera
AdAge Broadcasting & Cable MediaPost MediaWeek Variety Entertainment Weekly Folio:
HuffPo Home