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« Open Thread | Main | Lazy Equivalence on Journalism Ethics »

January 13, 2005



When I worked in the newsroom I loved the satisfaction of the scoop, too. But one of the things that eventually burned me out on the day-to-day practice of journalism was the number of people who believed the scoop was the thing and not the story.


I posted this in the other thread, but let me repost the idea here.

What if I as a grassroots journalist, were to take a picture of something interesting with my cell phone.

How could I profit off this event? I know everyone hates that word profit, but an economic substrate underneath grassroots journalism is very important for it to survive and thrive.

We need a way to encourage people to send traffic back to the original blog which 'scooped' the event.

Daniel Conover

blaze: excellent point.

is anyone working on such a system?

The One True b!X

We need a way to encourage people to send traffic back to the original blog which 'scooped' the event.

Slightly related, this is precisely why my RSS feeds only include exerpts anod not the full text of items on Communique, 'scoop' or not. As someone who is struggling to find a way to financially support what I do, the least people can do is provide my site with additions to its traffic stats.

The One True b!X

Interestingly, on the matter of scoops, yesterday I posted an item resulting from obtaining a City Club of Portland report on our local development agency, one day in advance of its release.

Early this morning, a member of City Club called me "morally stunted" for not saying where I had gotten it.


On moral stuntedness (which does not describe the gentleman from Portland) -
This probably isn't the right place to ask but I don't know what is -
what are the journalistic ethics of publishing leaked grand jury information? Is this considered acceptable?

If so - is it because the press has a principled belief that grand juries shouldn't be secret? Or is it just opportunism that's engaged in because "everybody else would do it and nobody can stop us"?

If not - is this written down somewhere, online?

Steve Rhodes

I've always thought that scoops were way overvalued. The only people who cared about them were other journalists.

And it lead to rediculous things like several local stations and newspapers have "exclusive" interviews with Gov. Arnold who got across the same talking points each time. And nobody asked him an important question like why he and rich people like him shouldn't pay a bit more in taxes so services to the poor and elderly don't get cut.

I'd rather a news organization do a story better and in more depth and do good follow-ups than have it first.

Daniel Conover

We could start by getting over ourselves and just citing our sources, even when they're competing news outlets.

one of journalism's dirty-little-secrets is the practice of adding a tiny little bit of basically irrelevant local information and then putting a byline on what is, really, a wire story. we do this to make our papers look more staff-written than they are, and it's a cheap trick.

Hey, how about a universal declaration in which we say no more shoddy image tricks? that would be nice.

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