After posting Murray Waas’s complaint about New York magazine’s handling of his Boston Globe story and Marlo Thomas’s failure to credit the Globe, I was cc’d on this letter:
Dear Murray and Christopher,
Thank you for noting the incorrect link in my recent Huffington Post piece, “Message to Mitt Romney: No More Passes…Talk to Us About Bullying” and please accept my apology for not linking directly to you, the original reporters. The error has been fixed on the site.
I want to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your very important piece of reporting. Thank you for holding politicians and candidates accountable. As I said in the piece, “This is not about religion or sexuality or politics. Bullying is a weapon that kills children, and a President needs to be a leader who will help stop the dying.”
ALSO: Murray Waas sends a follow-up letter:
I should note that after I had complained, Ben Williams, one of the editors of [New York] magazine, called to express regret and edited the post to put in the proper links. Ben, who is a gentleman and exceptional journalist, wasn’t just going through the paces. This type of thing really matters to him, and it has been my experience and that of other writers that New York ordinarily does properly credit original journalism, and links to a writer’s original story.
That being said, however, it has been an increasing practice at some leading news websites to simply rewrite other journalists’ original work, and only include in their own post a single obscure link, if any at all, to the original story.
I have personally been a beneficiary of ethical aggregation. Many of my most important stories would have never been read widely or had he impact that they did if other publications and websites did not link to them, and draw attention to them. But it is long overdue that as a profession we develop a standard for best ethical practices, appreciate publications that already engage in them, and press those who do not to finally engage in fair play.