Stuart Taylor on the Times' Lies
Now No One is Above the Law

Is NY Times Author Guilty of "Story Theft"?

Among credible bloggers is a certain code of conduct.  One thing bloggers don't deal is "plagiarize" or "steal" posts -- this is "post theft," and it will quickly destroy a blogger's credibility.  So if a a  blogger sees a post at another blog, she doesn't blog about the same topic - pretending as if she came up with the post idea on her own.  Indeed, if you see a link to an outside source, e.g., a news story, at another blog, you give credit to the blogger who found the source - hence why you often see a "hat tip" at the bottom of a blog post.

Yet one thing I and others have noticed is that often you'll read a blog post on a popular blog, and the next day-or-two, see the post turned into a story on another legal website.  In one post of mine, I came up with an idea never seen discussed elsewhere.  A bit later, someone had turned my post into a story on Findlaw's writ - with no attribution to me, of course. 

The latest victim of story theft seems to be Amber Taylor, who started a discussion on her blog, and offered unique insights into a topic that became a story in the New York Times.  Yet Ms. Taylor received no attribution - or even a thank-you note.  That seems pretty lame to me.

When reporters turn blog posts into stories, they should acknowledge the blog they took the idea from.  If this isn't yet required as a matter of journalistic ethics, it should be mandated under the rules of human graciousness.