New media ethics, same as old media ethics

Earlier this week, the Patch site in Palo Alto apologized after a freelancer plagiarized a story from another website. An apology posted on the site stated that copy was lifted from VentureBeat, an online tech news site. It doesn’t state if the freelancer will continue to work for the site, but the apology includes this:

The writer has been told that taking work of other writers or news organizations without attribution is absolutely not acceptable.

I would hope, at least, that this isn’t the first time said freelancer has heard this.

Patch sites haven’t had the best rep when it comes to plagiarism, similar lifting incidents have occurred in West Hollywood, New Rochelle (NY). But really, this isn’t about Patch at all. It’s about all of us in the growing new media world.

The spate of plagiarism charges leveled at Patch are indicative of an industry that is growing so [...]

Link roundup: How we’re getting paid this week

Monetizing location at the local level

My former employer, the Cincinnati Enquirer, has launched a long-simmering idea for a locally-based Foursquare-esque app. The location-based app, called Porkappolis, is available for use worldwide, but has a local focus. It’s similar to a lot of other location-based services, but the potential for local deals and gameplay could make it a real player. We’ll see how it plays out – perhaps it can be an early example for other media venturing into the app space.

Newsflash: iPad hasn’t saved print yet

WWD reports that iPad magazine sales have gone down in the fall after the device’s summer debut. While this isn’t some larger sign that the iPad and other e-readers won’t help to fund news organizations in the long-term, it is a sign that the pricing structure may be all wrong right out of the gate.

As the commenters at WWD point out, [...]

Tumblr is ideal for spur-of-the-moment news projects

Tumblrs are showing up all over the news these days. From Politico to Pro Publica, The New Yorker and Newsweek – it’s become a popular platform for collecting links, images, quotes – pretty much whatever journalists find interesting that they can’t get into their regular stories and posts.

In experimenting with Tumblr for various possible future TBD projects, I’ve been astounded at how easy it is to kick off a theme blog. Aside from the 30 seconds or so it takes to set one up, if you have an idea in mind, you can populate it really quickly. Case in point: My coworker Jeff Sonderman said on Twitter Tuesday morning that he wished there were a Tumblr for holiday clichés. Within minutes, I had one set up and populated. It is now owning my life.

Tumblr says it is adding 25,000 new accounts daily, and each month it serves up [...]

There’s a whole Internet outside of Twitter, so don’t forget it

Pew released a new study on Twitter demographics today that found only 8 percent of Americans on the web use Twitter. Of that 8 percent, only 2 percent use Twitter on a typical day. Keep in mind that about 74 percent of American adults are internet users, meaning that the Twitter users make up about 6 percent of the entire adult population.

This news shouldn’t be surprising, but maybe it is to those who live in the Twitter echo chamber.

When all of your friends, your coworkers, your spouse and the media you consume are on Twitter, it may seem logical to believe a great deal of America is as well. This is a dangerous assumption for journalists and media organizations to make – and I know I’ve been guilty of it from time to time.

While I still think it is very important for journalists to use Twitter, the [...]