Tag Archives: Gawker

Ethics, shmethics

Riddle me this, Batman: How is a political blogpost like a roadkill skunk?

The apparent answer: At first their stench makes them unfit for polite company, but after three weeks or so the smell goes away.

See, way; back on January 19, I wrote a piece about a bill before the legislature to establish a Latin motto for Vermont. Over time, the story went viral; it appeared on the Huffington Post, the Daily Kos, Reddit, Fark, and Gawker. It was shared on Facebook more than 10,000 times, and I literally got over 100,000 pageviews out of it.

But nobody else in Vermont media picked up on the story.

That is, until now. The Associated Press’ Dave Gram wrote a piece about it. The Burlington Free Press posted it on their paywalled website; here’s a link to the story on a non-paywalled site.

Nice of Dave to finally notice the story. Don’t know why it took three weeks.

Not so nice: he didn’t credit the Vermont Political Observer as the original source. Maybe the story’s blogorrific stench has dissipated, but the smell still permeates the dread name “theVPO.”

Gawker, that irresponsible gossipmonger, credited me; the local media, I guess, chooses not to.

Now I realize that (a) this is a trivial story, a sidebar to our coverage of politics and policy, and (b) nobody outside of the room I’m sitting in cares whether I get fair credit. But I do. And the giving and receiving of credit is always a lively topic whenever journalists gather; my salaried colleagues are quick to complain when they are slighted by another media outlet.

So here’s my complaint. For the vast majority of you who don’t care, my apologies and I promise something more relevant next time. Just needed to get that off my chest.

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