AP Only Credits Blogs That They Know

Posted on March 29, 2006

It appears that the Associated Press only credits blogs that they know -- even if they are made aware of the fact that the source was a blog. In one incident the Raw Story was denied a credit from the Associated Press. Instead of listing Raw Story as the source, the Associated Press gave the credit to the human rights group that handed them the printed information from Raw Story website. John Byrne, the executive editor of Raw Story, writes that the AP told him that the Associated Press only credits blogs that they know.

Raw Story then spoke with Jack Stokes, AP's Director of Media Relations. Stokes took careful notes regarding our concerns and said he would investigate our claims. He found that the AP had, indeed, gotten our article from "human rights groups" but that it was AP policy not to credit blogs.

"It does turn out that we don't give mentions to blogs when we're researching our stories and when we've been given material by others such as in this case human rights groups that brought this stuff to us that we independently check," Stokes said in a voicemail message.

Stokes elaborated Tuesday, saying the AP does give credit to blogs. He said the reason Raw Story wasn't credited in the Mar. 14 article was because the bureau "hadn't heard of" Raw Story, and because they had received the article from third-party groups. He said the agency would be issuing a statement, most likely later today.

"We do credit blogs that we know," Stokes said. "We had no idea who you were."

The Raw Story is not actually a blog, but even if it was a blog why does the AP think its fair or reasonable not to source them? The AP should give the source for the information whether the information was provided by a magazine, blog, individual, message board, etc. The article says the AP has credited blogs including Instapundit and Pajamas Media in the past. These must be blogs that they know. Larisa Alexandrovna at the Huffington Post has an editorial on the AP's bizarre attribution policy.

Update 3-30-06: Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo writes> that the AP also used TPM Media's blog without giving any credit to the blog.

Last week, over a three or four day period, there were four instances in which a mainstream media outlet took a story or scoop we (and by this I mean the two reporters who put out TPMmuckraker.com, Paul Kiel and Justin Rood) had first published and ran it as their own without crediting or mentioning that TPMmuckraker.com had originally broken the story.



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