Monday, April 03, 2006

Right & Left Blogs Blast Associated Press

(Updated Tuesday: New article at Raw Story about how the Associated Press continue to make asses out of themselves: Associated Press releases statement about Raw Story accusations which contradicts their own source)

On March 14, an article entitled "US quietly tightens access to classified information" was published at Raw Story, written by John Byrne and Larisa Alexandrovna with additional research by Muriel Kane.

Later that same day the Associated Press syndicated an article entitled "Security clearance rules may impede gays," written by Katharine Shrader.

(Note: The Raw Story article actually first appeared on March linked in Tuesday's article above at Raw)

Unlike Raw Story, the Associated Press article didn't mention the names of the researchers on their story.

The names of those researchers should have been John Byrne, Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane because they're the ones that did the research on which the article was based.

More information can be found on the backstory of this plagiarism ( qualifies: "Plagiarism is theft of another person's writings or ideas) here, here and here.

Now, I've personally busted a number of plagiarists...and some of them even cribbed from the Associated Press (ePluribus Talon News plagiarism file) I guess you can say that this shit really gets my goat (cliches are free for all!).

Plus, since I work at Raw - and am friends with the innocent victims - my opinion is going to be biased, no doubt.

So instead I present to the Associated Press the voices of all bloggers whom I could find that have weighed in on this still-building scandal (I'm going to leave this post at the top of my blog for the next few days and add more bloggers as I find them).

The voices come not only from the left, but from the right and the middle. Truly impressive. On some things a great number of bloggers from all sides and stripes (and/or Internet-based journalists) are firmly on the same side (not sure about the same stripe though).

First's Brad Friedman from Brad Blog (another friend) weighing in at Editor & Publisher:

Journalism is journalism is journalism. The quality of the reporting and the journalism therein is what matters no matter the name given to the media--"Web site" or "blog" --originating the work. The reason that all of this matters is not so that the creators of Web sites or blogs receive some form of personal adulation or ego stroke for our hard work. So why does proper credit to such sources really matter?

It matters because while Internet news sites (and, yes, that includes blogs like mine which do original reporting) continue to dig and investigate and report day in and day out on stories that matter to this country and the world, recognition for that work by others is paramount for our ability to continue to produce such work.

Appropriate recognition and attribution from others is essential if we are to see our work picked up elsewhere and otherwise advanced by officials and the mainstream and any other damned media source which can add to that reporting and bring us all closer to the truth.

Everyone else:

Talking Points Memo: "Conventional news outlets frequently chide blogs for not doing any original reporting but rather feeding off the original reporting of the mainstream media. In many cases, the criticism is merited. But if that is the criticism it behooves every mainstream media outlet to enforce their own standing policies and not allow reporters to rip off blog writers who are doing original reporting."

Eschaton: "Most of all, original reporting isn't the focus here and even if occasional acts of reporting happen I'm not trying to establish Eschaton as credible news outlet the way that Josh and Raw Story are. While journalism doesn't have the same citation standards of academia, and it generally shouldn't, reporters shouldn't feel entitled to rip things off just because they were originally reported on the internets."

The Blog Herald: "In the past the plagiarism club has had some noteworthy faces CNET, The New York Times, most recently Weblogs Inc, and now entering the plagiarism club because its the lazy popular thing to do is The Associated Press. Plagiarism is the reason that old media will die."

Feministe: "Associated Press: “We do not credit blogs.” Even, apparently, when they lift entire stories from them."

Bloodless Coup: "Total, utter thieving. And they have the nerve to admit it to the people they stole it from."

Search Engine Journal: "Pretty damn lame of an excuse by the AP and goes to show how ‘citizenship media’ is slowly exposing the workings of the traditional press...But dammit, there is no excuse for not even crediting a source, moreover copying their idea and material. Shame on you."

Sassy Lawyer: "It’s an attitude problem alright. I believe it’s called arrogance."

The Four-eyed Journal: "I visited the link to the said blogger’s entry about this foul play against bloggers and any blogger would not help but sympathize and be infuriated by this incident...AP’s act and words; “we do not credit blogs” is an insult to bloggers worldwide."

Uncorrelated: "The elite media apparently has a Dredd-Scott view of bloggers when it comes to plagarism...Seems to me like a number of people at the AP should resign or be fired if the elite media really take plagarism seriously."

The Supreme Irony of Life: "First off, the article in question appeared on Raw Story, which is much more than "a blog", but the larger issue is one that everyone seriously needs to consider. Particularly in light of Ben Domenech. Is a blogger entitled to the same protections from being plagarized as a journalist or author is? Should bloggers receive the same consideration from having their work copied without attibution?"

Shakespeare's Sister: "Idea Thieves."

National Journal's Blogometer: "The AP, apparently, doesn't value blogs as much as their other sources. That, predictably, has bloggers mad."

Roger L. Simon: "But this is more than picking on the small fry. This is fear of the small fry - the media class struggle in its MSM vs. blogs essence. Don't credit blogs unless you have to - a policy followed by the blog (competition) phobic including not only the AP, but Bill O'Reilly and Matt Drudge as well - a group that may cross ideological, but certainly not class, lines. For all of them, this is not about the search for truth. It's about the search for bucks."

MyDD's Matt Stoller: "This is stealing. Raw Story invested the time and effort to investigate the story, and printed it. The AP took that work, uncredited, and used it. The AP should stop stealing from Raw Story. It's that simple."

The Volokh Conspiracy's Jim Lindgren: "According to Alexandrovna, AP didn't just take her work, they misattributed the work to other people. Even if there were some legitimate reason for AP's policy, that would not justify misleading readers."

Majikthise: "Larisa Alexandrova alleges that the Associated Press stole her investigative reporting about changes in security clearance guidlelines. When Alexandrovna confronted the AP, the officials admitted to using the information without permission, saying: "We don't credit blogs.""

L'Ombre de l'Olivier: "I think the only solution is for all blogs to form together in a "advocacy group" for protection. We could call it "Freelance Journalists Against Plagiarizism" or something similar."

Captain's Quarters: "Apparently the Associated Press thinks that bloggers don't deserve the same protections against plagiarism that they themselves claim for their own work...After seeing the pillorying that Ben Domenech received -- and rightly so -- for plagiarism, this arrogant dismissal of outright theft by the supposed "professionals" of the mainstream media puts the whole issue in perspective. This implicates not just the AP, one of the world's largest newsgathering organizations, but every client of the AP that runs their stories on their sites and in their newspapers. That includes almost every major newspaper, most if not all broadcasters, and almost all of the media outlet websites."

Instapundit: "IS THE AP PLAGIARIZING BLOGS? A "we do not credit blogs" policy doesn't sound like much of a defense...Whether or not it's plagiarism, exactly, it's certainly tacky." "Bloggers get fucked by Associated Press: Media wants to discredit blogs while plagarizing the reporting: Huge surprise."

Wot Is It Good 4: "josh: "Earlier this evening, the Associated Press ran a clarification to their story about Rep. Jim Ryun and his house purchase from the now-defunct U.S. Family Network. "The Associated Press," they wrote, "should have credited the blog, which first reported the sale." The reporting in question was by's Paul Kiel. That was classy and we appreciate it." wow. will larisa get same?"

Plagiarism Today: "While this seems to go against the AP’s own ethics policy, which simply states "The newspaper should not plagiarize words or images" (see also their updated news values and principles), it also seems to go against their common practices as some have posted several instances of the AP duly crediting blogs while others have noticed cases where blogs have either not been credited or credited inadequately."

More to come...


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