December 24, 2008

[H/t Heather]

Check out David Shuster's MSNBC reportage on the story dug up by Murray Waas yesterday regarding Dick Cheney's rewriting of White House talking points about Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson.

Notice anything missing?

Yeah, we noticed it too: There's not a single mention of Murray or his reportage. Shuster briefly alludes to Joe Gandelman's Moderate Voice blog -- which was one of many who picked up and linked to the piece. And who does he have on to talk about it? A reporter from the Washington Post -- which so far has not even mentioned the story either in its pages or on its website. (And then he and the NBC reporter talk about it as if Cheney were admitting this as part of his media legacy tour -- when in fact it was dug up out of an FBI interview conducted several years ago.)

I mean: WTF?

I know that reporters in the mainstream media like to think of themselves as the real journalists in the evolving post-Internet world, while we dirty hippie bloggers are mere parasites who help distribute the information they create -- add-ons, as it were.

But the reality is that not only are bloggers doing a lot of real journalistic work these days, there are real journalists who have turned to blogging as the chief means to publishing their work. I happen to be one of these, and so does Murray.

If this had been carried in one of those mainstream outlets first, MSNBC and Shuster would certainly have credited them with the story -- or they'd have had to face the wrath of their colleagues. Failure to cite reporters who originate breaking and important news is considered a major ethical faux pas in the journalistic business.

Well, the same holds true for we dirty hippie bloggers, including those of us who happen to be actual journalists.

These people owe Murray Waas an apology. And they need to update their ethical standards to reflect the reality of the business they're in today.

UPDATE: Commenters have noted that Shuster took pains to credit Waas in later broadcasts. If so, it should be duly noted (we didn't catch those broadcasts); but the failure to do so in this case was also quite real.

UPDATE II: Editorial note: Shuster has in the past done excellent work and often credited Waas on previous stories, so we are working on the assumption that this was an anomaly and probably not a mistake created by Shuster, but rather the show's producers. We're not trying to single out Shuster here, but rather raising an issue that happens all too often to independent journalists working in the blogosphere.

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