Maybe It’s a Two-Way Street After All

Josh Marshall writes:

My point is to call out the assumption among too many reporters that original reporting on the web amounts to free pickings, a separate class of journalism they can snag and call their own. That’s gotta stop.

I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I find it interesting that outlets have been utterly hypocritical in scolding bloggers for being somewhat parasitical in their approach, while simultaneously leeching off of the leads that can be easily find through a Technorati or Ice Rocket search. It seems to me that most, though certainly not all, bloggers are perfectly respectable in attributing where they found an initial link. (I certainly try to be.) Why not newspapers?

I feel that any journalist or blogger piecing together a story, whether it be a series of links or any outside work going in to confirm a rumor, has the duty to offer as much of their work product as the situation will allow. That way, another person looking to cover the story, perhaps stumbling upon it for the first time, knows what news is old and what news is known and she is in the position of unfurling additional story angles.

It is entirely irresponsible to let competitive animus get in the way of revealing this trail of crumbs. It is also counterintuitive to the investigative process.

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