Friday, November 14, 2008

PUMA Internet Journalism that Relies on News Scraping, Legitimate, Yes or No?

Is PUMA newscraping a legitimate form of journalism? Many, perhaps most PUMA articles rely on newscraping. Newscraping occurs when an internet writer "copies" a passage or quote from another internet article, without permission, even if the original source is credited.

One way to determine if newscraping is legitimate or not involves examining how internet news is created in the first place. Most internet news is created via advertiser based funding, access, and capable reporting. The moment anyone of those three elements are removed, we have what the established news media would consider news scrapings.

Take away funding, and suddenly access or capable reporting can dry up. Take away access, and suddenly any amount of money and a capable reporter will no longer result in a news story, but newscraping. Take away a capable reporter, and once again money and access really don't mean much.

Recently, there were reports of three journalists not being allowed on Barack Obamas plane because of prior articles they had written. If this is true, than it pretty much means that journalists have to compromise their writing to ensure continued access for their "stories".

Those who may thumb their nose at newscrapers must themselves toe the line and COMPLY to terms we know nothing about, or risk losing access. If "legitimate" news organizations are obediently following guidelines so they don't risk losing access, then their reports are severely biased AND MUST BE SCRUTINIZED BY OTHERS.

Newscraping expands the reach of the original story, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, and secondly, the discussion of the original article allows for an alternative perspective to be attached, one in which the writer feels free to write what they think without fear of being left off the plane.

Youtube may be the biggest scraper of all, and all the entities that at one time were suing them, are now learning to work with Youtube. I believe that that is the logical next step for the newspaper community and the newscraping community, including PUMAs.

4 comments:

Infidel753 said...

Well, it beats what might be called "newscrapping" where a writer reports a story which he completely made up ("Palin thinks Africa is a country!" "Palin shoots wolves from airplanes!").

Seriously, it's hard to see how it's wrong as long as the source is linked. The reason copying is considered unethical is that it robs the original source of potential revenue from readers. On the internet that's not really an issue. A quotation that links to the original source is likely to increase traffic to that original source, not decrease it.

All publicity is good publicity. Sometimes we even spell their names right.

Alessandro Machi said...

Some media entities really take the issue of news craping seriously. They feel without their efforts of creating, maintaining, and profiting from their news, we would have less interesting things to write about.

Plus, if the don't challenge what may be called piracy, in some situations they could lose their trademark if they let it go unchecked.

I believe newscraping is a circular effect. The more we blog and discuss the news, the more likely the entire news generating process has a chance to represent more than than just those who the access.

The Devils advocate position could be, news is what you make of it. PUMA could create it's own list of celebrities and people of reknown and just blog about them, and over time, they may reach actual status of news generator even amongst the mainstream media.

I am not necessarily in favor of that, as the bottom line is the news is still controlled by too few people hobnobbing with the "in crowd".

Alessandro Machi said...

Newscrapping, ha ha.

pumasunleashed said...

What infidel1753 said:

I agree, as long as proper attribution is given or a link to the writer, wheres the beef? I think it's better than another writer's re-interpretation of someone else's words and shading the original intent with an entirely different meaning.

That to me is the biggest travesty of all.

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