You may have seen that The New York Times has suffered another plagiarism episode, this one on the part of one of its “Dealbook” financial bloggers. What was different about this one was the spin the admitted plagiarist put on his act. The vigilant Times-watch blog nytpicker.com picked up this quote from the plagiarist, one that first appeared in the Greenwhich Time newspaper:
“I don’t know what to tell you,” the plagiarist said, “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.”
He also is quoted thus: :
“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.”
What struck me is that though media guru Jeff Jarvis is by no means an advocate of plagiarism, the new plagiarist defense is essentially to mouth Jarvis-like platitudes about how everything’s different in the brave new world of blogs and that information wants to be free and the story is no longer the unit of the new age of the web journalism with its “content-farms” ,and those poor souls who develop information into a story, i.e. connect the dots, not just throw them at the screen, don’t have any right to any proprietary feelings about what they craft.
Crediting people for their work is “going away” the plagiarist tells us, “readers don’t care” about by-lines so what’s the point of not stealing, right?
This guy has a brght future as a new media guru.