Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wanna Play Jarizzum?

When someone issues a press release, and you're the press, you have to either A. print the release verbatim and say that's what you're doing, or B. take the info and put it into your own words. You can't just print the press release as if it were your own writing. Or even large portions of it. And if I print even a tiny piece of someone else's writing, I credit the source, even if it's a press release meant to go out to the public. I'm pretty sure that's what you have to do.

Now look at this post on Extra Bases, the Globe's Red Sox "blog."

Then look at the Red Sox' press release.

The XB guy started out turning it into his own words, even adding info about Lester. But then the big list is just cut-and-pasted (with Lester's name removed because he mentions him earlier), which isn't all bad considering it's a list. But the final paragraph is also cut-and-paste.

No matter how you look at it, that is a pretty big chunk of someone else's writing with no credit given. All he had to do was say, "...and here's the rest of the press release..." and then cut and paste.

Then I got to thinking about all the things we as bloggers report--it's always going to come from somewhere else, unless you're at the game or getting the news firsthand. But we don't always credit sources. Especially if it's something that comes out that everyone just knows about. I mean, if I give the score of last night's game, do I have to give credit to NESN since they provided me with the game? Or if I missed the game and a friend tells me what happened, do I have to ask him exactly where he found the info?

I give credit every time. However, if I'm just conveying info without taking anything specific from one source, like, say, "Manny signed today," I feel like I don't need to credit anybody. But I tend to either skip giving info that everyone knows, or if I'm referring to a specific article, credit it and then give my own take. (And with pics and video, I always try to credit the source, unless it's some stock photo or something.) So I don't think I'm doing anything wrong. But I know I'd never take any piece of someone else's writing and post it here without any indication that it's not my own.


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Location: Rhode Island, United States