June 19, 2008

More on the Media Bloggers Association and AP - Need Retraction/Correction From AP/NYT

This is a follow up to my post a couple of days ago, detailing the AP situation and protesting their request that bloggers just use AP summaries of stories, not quote from (per fair use) their stories, and their C&D notices to Rogers Cadenhead of Drudge Retort.

Since then, AP and the NYTimes have written stories that are partially (NYTimes) or totally (in the case of AP) untrue. While I can understand how people from large institutions might only be able to understand that another "institution" (such as it is, Media Bloggers Association) might have the same buy in, power or whatever to exist (they don't represent all bloggers) and negotiate some kind of blogger policy, AP and NYT need to "correct" and restate their stories.

AP: AP to meet with blogging group to form guidelines
NYT: The Associated Press to Set Guidelines for Using Its Articles in Blogs

Note that the NYTimes article says this which is the misleading paragraph:

Mr. Kennedy said the company was going to meet with representatives of the Media Bloggers Association, a trade group, and others. He said he hopes that these discussions can all occur this week so that guidelines can be released soon.

Media Bloggers Association, per the reporting by Culture Kitchen, did not say they were "representing all bloggers" to get some sort of policy worked out with AP, but rather, at Rogers' request, are representing *his case only,* in order to deal with the 7 C&D notices AP sent him.

The NYT (is implying) and AP in its headline and throughout the article outright, completely misunderstand this, and lead readers to misunderstand that there is even an institution that can "negotiate for the blogosphere." The blogophere is made up of millions of little spheres of conversation and influence, and those are made up of tens of millions of bloggers. It's utterly ridiculous and shows a complete lack of understanding of the blogosphere to believe there is some sort of institution on the other side of traditional media. The whole point of blogging is that people do what they want, that online publishing is completely atomized, and that if some sort of policy were to be negotiated with one small group, no one else would likely follow it *because Fair Use exists* and I would personally rather follow the constitution on this one.

I think it's time for a correction/restatement/clarification at NYT and a complete retraction at AP.

Posted by Mary Hodder at June 19, 2008 07:27 AM | TrackBack

In the article, the phrase "on the other side of" was used once. Since this phrase also appears in an AP article from May 2007:
This web site now owes the AP $12.50.

Where do I collect my reward?

Posted by: trbo20 at June 19, 2008 12:57 PM

Mary-- Bob's corrections to the Times have been, well, legendary. He singlehandedly petitioned the Times to change its policy so that columnists would be responsible for their own corrections. So if he's not agitating for a correction here, I don't begrudge him. Here's what he said instead (emphasis mine):

"Even after I picked up the phone and explained the actual purpose of the meeting - to sort out what to do about the outstanding DMCA Take Down Notices - some bloggers just continued to run with this absurd story in order to advance an agenda that I can assure you has nothing to do with resolving the case at hand."

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves. :-|

Posted by: Jon Garfunkel at June 19, 2008 10:43 PM

"The NYT (in implying) and AP in it's headline and throughout the article"

Please learn how to spell.

Posted by: Eddie Pasternack at June 19, 2008 11:11 PM

Hi Eddie Pasternack,

There is a typo that I've corrected, but what is misspelled in that quote?


Posted by: mary hodder at June 19, 2008 11:21 PM