Times says it should have credited Techdirt for breaking news about music website

Thursday, Techdirt’s Mike Masnick broke a story about the federal government finally returning the domain of a music site to its owner after seizing it last year. Friday afternoon, The New York Times published its own story “with nary a mention of our story,” Masnick writes. “Attacking others for reporting on the same thing they’ve reported on is going to make them look foolish when they do the same thing, as happened here.” Bruce Headlam, media editor for the Times, tells me via email that the Times’ Ben Sisario did credit Techdirt with breaking the news, but it was edited out. “We should have credited Techdirt and we didn’t. But the fault was the editor’s, not Ben’s. We’ll correct it today.” Headlam says Sisario, who reported on the sting last year, learned of the story via CNET, read the Techdirt story and then reported everything in his story independently.

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  • Star Jonestown

    “Media-industry clowns”? “The only people who”… ???

    That’s just as “over the top” as anything I’ve written or your friend Masnick.

    Heal thyself, Dr.

  • Anonymous

    Sisario didn;t “report everything in his story independently.” He got the story from someone else and did the much easier thing of confirming it with people named in the story. It might have been easier, I suppose, if Techdirt included the telephone numbers and email addresses of the sources. It is often assumed it is ambitious reporters who skimp on credit, but clearly editor Headlam is the problems here — he may well be the one who edited out the credit (blaming and effectively naming reporters in corrections is okay but editors get to hide) but even now he is engaging in wordplay to claim more credit for the Times than it deserves.

  • Anonymous

    Just a quick skip through your comments history forces me to note that you seem like a constantly enraged person. In any case, while Masnick is consistently over the top (kinda like you!) and usually hard to read because the writing is so terrible, SOPA is widely reviled, for good reason. The only people who support it are media-industry clowns and their lobbyists. Which are you?

  • Anonymous

    Uh, hello, thestory on Techdirt — whatever the hell that is — is incomprehensible, as might be expected from a writer who characterizes the NYTimes as “whining,” which is hardly professional (or clear).

    I can note that the NYT uses its power to get press announcements a day ahead of general release, allowing the paper to be first with a lot of stories. It’s a kind of blackmail — give it to us first or we won’t publish it at all.

    Is that what we’re talking about here, who got the press release first?

  • Star Jonestown

    Wait a second, is Poynter interested in the fact that the website was subject to legitimate enforcement, or only in reinforcing techdirt’s propaganda campaign against SOPA?  B/c the original story itself is yellow journalism at its worst, providing misinformation and innuendo, and the fact that the Times followed it at all is a stain on the Times, not their failure to credit td….

    The site was actually a pirate site, the government declined to prosecute, as happens in millions of court cases of every kind every year, and there is archival data to prove that the site was a host for parasites.  It’s on the Times article in the Comments section. 

  • http://twitter.com/ThePolEcon Dan Mitchell

    No, you did in fact deserve credit. But I believe the “whining” you’re referring to (and you can correct me if I’m wrong) isn’t so much about blogs rewriting NYT stories in this fashion — with independent reporting — it’s about blogs paraphrasing the work of reporters and thus capturing traffic that rightly belongs to the person who did the work and the company that employs that person. 

  • http://techdirt.com/ Michael Masnick

    To be clear: I was not saying that I deserved or needed credit.  My point was merely to point out that the NYT has a history of whining about this exact thing.  I thought it was amusing that they were then caught doing the same thing.  Lots of other sites reported on the news — some credited Techdirt and some didn’t.  I have no problem with either.  The point was about the NYT’s previously stated position, complaining about blogs doing the same kind of thing.

    That said, I appreciate the correction and the apology.