Lindsay mentions sticky-fingers at the WSJ and FT, but this reminds me of the never-resolved issue of the NYT publishing an item that had previously appeared on the blog Mediacrity. Fishbowl wrote about it this summer, but here’s a recap: on June 26, 2005, Mediacrity sussed out and posted Jim Romenesko‘s 2003 salary ($152,163, plus $17,024 in benefits and deferred compensation), which garnered some attention, including from prominent bloggers Andrew Sullivan and Jeff Jarvis that same night. On July 3, 2005, the NYT ran a short bit by Ken Belson on Romenesko’s salary, mentioning Medaicrity but not crediting the blog with the story. Mediacrity complained to the NYT, and got a response telling him they needed a name before they would “consider running a correction.” Medaicrity took it to Barney Calame; Barney said, hey, our guy “independently obtained and confirmed” that information. Which would have been quite the coincidence.
You can read all about it here and here; but you can’t read about the resolution because there wasn’t any. Mediacrity refused to reveal his/her identity and no retraction was ever run (but, it’s never too late).
I pointed out at the time that Mediacrity was, er, “strident” – that blogger is definitely that plus all sorts of cranky, at least with respect to this issue. Should his/her lack of civility have the slightest bearing on whether attribution is given? Of course not.
A side note: funnily enough, the blogosphere is built on it’s own unique brand of footnoting, more ad-hoc but no less scrupulous for the sake of attribution: linking. If you can’t back it up, reader know and the vote with their mouses.
Oh yes, what started it all:
Things You Might Have Missed If You Only Read Romenesko [FishbowlDC]