Monday, October 06, 2008

When NYT Fails To Give Credit...

...where credit is due.

Today Jason B. Nicholas, freelance photographer for the New York Post, was written about in the Times' City Room blog for violating his parole as a result of minor arrests at crime scenes for being an aggressive photographer.

In the post, author Corey Kilgannon mentions the Times' previous profile of Nicholas by Colin Moynihan in 2007, telling the story of his trajectory from Rikers Island convicted felon to NYU graduate, writer and photojournalist.

Problem is, this story was written about more than a year prior to that, in NYU's Washington Square News. No credit is given, despite the fact that the paper that first wrote about it operates in the same city (and borough).

This is not the first time I've seen the Times take a story off the hands of a local or college paper and fail to mention that it was first written about in a smaller publication. Sure, it's not breaking news, but it's frustrating when a Times blogger makes mention of the Times' previous story ("Look! We've covered him before!") without also giving credit to the person who originally discovered the story and broke it.

(Full disclaimer: That person was me.)


Travis Mason-Bushman said...
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Anonymous said...


I have been following your blog for a while now and thought this was an interesting issue.

First of all: I can see where you're coming from! It must be frustrating to see the hard work and much of the excitement you put into YOUR story only later be be picked up by one of t-h-e biggest papers of the country and - voila- after doing their own share of work on it - the story is theirs.

However, having worked for a large newspaper based in a foreign country, I know firsthand that that's exactly how it often works.

Local media often enough contribute the origal idea for a particluar story. They tend to raise a question worth following up on, and very simply point out the different aspects of every day life that one person alone simply cannot oversee.

If we always credited each and every source for our original story idea---- it would be confusing to say the least. I mean, where do you then draw the line?? A TV news story on a prisoner in Alabama that evolves into a profile in a news magazine with a larger scope---, a local story on an Icon restaurant in New York that closes after a long successful run, that makes it into German papers?

After all, these pieces of information are out there already. It depends on who finds them first and manages to sell it to a big enough audience.... and gets the credit that he/she (more or less) deserves.

Allbest! FMG