We feel a bit guilty blogging about this right now, fearing that it will just add fuel to the fire raging over blogs (like this one) that draw information and quotes from stories in news sources like The Washington Post. But thanks to an article in the Post this weekend, the wound is open and raw, so we have to at least let you know what’s been going on.
Yesterday, Post writer Ian Shapira wrote about his experience when Gawker picked up an article he wrote for the paper early last month about a business coach who explains millennials to baby boomers. At first, Shapira was excited by Gawker’s take on his article. “I confess to feeling a bit triumphant…I was flattered,” he wrote.
Then, an email from his editor changed his mind: “But when I told my editor, he wrote back: They stole your story. Where’s your outrage, man?”
Shapira goes on to discuss the amount of work that went into his 1,500-word story that, although not “Pulitzer material” still required hours of travel, interviews, note-taking, transcribing and writing. You know, all the work that goes into any piece of journalism that is not merely a rehashing of someone else’s story. Was it fair of Gawker to rip the story from the pages of the Post and steal Shapira’s thunder? Right or wrong, it’s become common practice on news blogs.
And so, the debate continues.
Updated with Gawker’s reply. Read on.