Blogs Versus Papers: Where Do You Hear It First?

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: Coconut Grove Grapevine is simply one of the best community-centric blogs we've ever come across. Apparently "the local daily newspaper" seems to think so too, so much so that CCGV's Tom alleges the paper has had a habit of blatantly ripping him off, and says as much in a fiery post this weekend.

Let me take the risk of blabbing off again (and cross my fingers that New Times doesn't ever find itself in a similar situation), and talk a bit about the differences and relationship between blogs and traditional media.

What I do here is mostly blogging (and I know that confuses some readers considering it's for a weekly newspaper), and to get about 10 posts up a day, I rely on lots of information from other media. The key is to bring some local or novel twist to it, properly source the information, and hopefully reward the other website with some page views. Blah, blah, blah *yawn* -- that's blogging fundamentals. No shame in that (that's what I tell myself anyway). But what CCGV does is almost exclusively original reporting, which is also supposed to be the modus operandi of "the local daily newspaper."

Taking tips from other outlets is nothing new in newspapering, but blogging has helped to advance the idea that the original reporting should be given a nod. Expanding on the story --using resources that are more readily available to traditional journalists-- is in my estimation fine (especially if you source where you got the information), but basically ripping it off is pretty lousy.

Papers, though, seem to have a problem with even acknowledging blog-based citizen reporting. The problem with papers is you can't put a hyperlink in newsprint, and it kind of makes them look irrelevant when they say "as first reported on xxxxx.blogspot.com." Though it doesn't make papers look any better when people notice they've read the same information on a blog first; in fact it makes them look even more irrelevant and in some cases like plain ol' plagiarizers.

--Kyle Munzenrieder

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