When the Star cribs, it is noted

Dateline: Mon 12 Nov 2007

In the incestuous blogworld, writers are zealous watchdogs; hence when a Star reporter supposedly lifts material from a blog without attribution, computer tongues wag.

For the second time in almost as many days, Renee Wilmeth at feedmedrinkme.blogspot.com reports a burglary. The latest is Star biz reporter Jeff Swiatek's centerpiece story today about five new restaurants opening. (My first thought when I read this story over morning coffee: why is the talented and supersmart Mr. Swiatek, who once had the Lilly beat, writing a PR-type buzz piece about restaurants opening?)

According to Wilmeth, Cory Shouten at IBJ's Property Lines already had the scoop that the Star centerpieced today. (I found Shouten covered each restaurant except for the opening of a new Adobe Grill Downtown).

The larger point: attribution. "The Star doesn't note anyone else they've talked to who's provided the information," writes Wilmeth. "It's clearly different today in a tightly budgeted news corporation than it was when I was in J-school..."

To read more: http://feedmedrinkme.blogspot.com

Also crying foul is Gary Welsh at Advance Indiana, who has been similarly stung in the past. Welsh's link:

http://advanceindiana.blogspot.com/

He's picked up too on Wilmeth's complaint. Wrote Welsh on Sunday: "This has happened to me on so many occasions in the past I just gave of mentioning the fact..."

Obviously, the Star has neither the bodies nor the depth to do the job it should be doing. My advice to reporters: leave the dark side, kids. There's no living on the crummy pension the Star will dole out, if you'll even get anything under Gannett. Quit making Dennis Ryerson and Barbara Henry rich. Break out, break out, break out...

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