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Will we ever rebel against aggregating?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by DeskMonkey1, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. DeskMonkey1

    DeskMonkey1 Active Member

    A story broke today in my neck of the woods. Not one that would necessarily turn the needle nationally but big enough regionally. On my Twitter feed, I saw three folks I know/kind of know/once worked with tweet about it.

    Two tweeted a link from the outlet that broke the news.

    Another tweeted a link to his shop's website (posted by a co-worker of his) that did the "...according to a report by the podunk times..." and linked back to the original source referenced in the first two tweets.

    Wasn't a sentence of original reporting although it was edited and boiled down to three grafs instead of eight and there was a link to a related story (again, not their original reporting). But still....

    I've long called aggregating plagerisim, although I've done it as part of my job. But at least add some commentary. Geeze
  2. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    Last week our shop had a tip: a lawsuit against the local cops would be settled by the city council. A pretty high-profile incident of police ineptitude in our corner of the world.

    We sat on the tip all day, showed up after the executive session to get the story and quotes, then posted it on our web site/Twitter feed around 8 p.m.

    Our competition first tweeted a link to our story, then had their copy desk and individual reporters retweet their tweet, so it looked like they were referring to "their" story.

    Whatever. This old timer says our reporting beat them on the story, and who gives a crap what happens after that in the Twitter-land.
  3. boundforboston

    boundforboston Well-Known Member

    What would happen, before the Internets, if another outlet reported some major breaking news right before your deadline? Would you aggregate what they had reported (assuming you can't get in touch with the sources and it was a trustworthy news organization)?
  4. I don't think you can put the genie back in the bottle.

    And I don't think what you describe even remotely approaches the definition of plagiarism. If anything, it sounds like they went above and beyond in trying to link to the original source.
    FileNotFound and Ace like this.
  5. DeskMonkey1

    DeskMonkey1 Active Member

    Well, I certainly wouldn't put my name on it and put on like I did the original reporting. Or, at least add something to it. Maybe plagiarism is too strong a word but it just doesn't sit well with me. I've tweeted a few things, only for someone else to copy and paste it into their tweet instead of retweeting me. Yeah, you gave me the credit but I didn't get the exposure that my retweet would have and when you adapt that to page clicks, if you're writing a story saying "according to the Podunk Times" and giving the info instead of just sharing my link, it doesn't do me much good.

    Yeah, you linked at the bottom of the post but 90% of folks are going to read what you (the aggragator) did instead of clicking.

    And, no, I'm not involved with the original post, don't even live there anymore. Maybe I'm just bitter because I was once judged on page clicks when I wasn't paid to report
  6. Riptide

    Riptide Well-Known Member

    Now more than ever, I'm glad I don't Twitter.
  7. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    More and more, it doesn't even matter whether you're linking to the original material or to your aggregated and summarized second-hand blog crap -- the Tweeps don't even bother to click through. We're encouraged to Tweet out links to our stories and invariably, our "notifications" fill up with morons asking questions about the story that are answered in the first three grafs. If only they'd bother to click through.

    So whether it's original reporting or second-hand semi-pilfering, it's getting harder all the time to monetize the freeloading world.
  8. Pilot

    Pilot Well-Known Member

    A local radio station had started coping and pasting our stories onto their web site, then posting their link on Facebook to "their" news. They attributed it to us, at least, but from their site.

    Our reporter who was most often getting victimized sent them a nasty letter and, checking now, it looks like they are now posting the first paragraph of the story on their site, then having a link to ours.
  9. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    I can only speak for my own publication, but they've aggressively told Patch and some of the other aggregation places in Rhode Island to not do, or, they might sue. As a result, there isn't much getting picked up. From monitoring some of the Patch sites, it's clear that they might be doing some lifting - they suspiciously seem to have stories a couple hours after us, and never before. Speaking as someone who was on the other side and used to run a Patch site, I will say that the "we'll link to you so you'll get traffic!" thing is total BS and a cop-out. Previous posters are correct in that there wasn't ever much click-through.
  10. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    Long ago, before Web sites, I got tired of a sports anchor at a local affiliate basically ripping off stories from our sports section to read as his on the air. I called the studio one night to catch him as he came off the air and aired him out for his obvious pilfering. He started crediting our paper on scoops and stories that clearly were ours, more than generic accounts. The guy did seem sufficiently chastened for the next few years we both were in the same market.
  11. DeskMonkey1

    DeskMonkey1 Active Member

    My first job was in a market that had a very small channel that wasn't even picked up by the cable companies and the signal only went maybe 10-15 miles but there a legit TV station. I don't know the proper term for TV but basically the TV equivalent of an AM radio station. Anyway, on their morning news show, the anchor would pull out our paper and just read the hedlines and leads on the air. Wouldn't even give us credit although you could clearly see our masthead.
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