Old vs. new media: the etiquette
An interesting division is emerging in terms of etiquette between "old" and "new" media.
This week, my colleague Allan Woods, who has a knack for finding these kind of stories, twigged to the news that the parliamentary restaurant was getting ready to put seal meat on the menu. The story was supposed to appear for the first time in today's paper. But we learned late in the day that Canadian Press was on to the story too, so we slapped it on the web as soon as possible. This morning, as I scan the papers, I see that many news outlets have the story, each claiming it as their own. Canadian Press, I should say, is used to this. CP reporters work for days on stories only to see newspapers rip the item from the wire and rewrite so it can have a staff byline. Ugh.
In the blogosphere and on Twitter, however, the general practice is to give credit or an h/t (hat tip) to where you first learn of news. It's a more collaborative than competitive universe, by and large, which sees reporters for The Globe, The Star, Macleans, CanWest referring readers to each other's posts. Yesterday, for instance, when I posted the memo on changes in the Opposition Leader's Office, I noticed that The Globe and others were sending readers this way immediately. (There were some exceptions, usual ones; they've been noted.)
Jeff Jarvis, author of What Would Google Do?, says that the latter etiquette is the way of the future. Old media manage scarcity, he says; new media value large, collaborative networks. I highly recommend Jarvis's work, by the way. I saw him speak last year at the Rotman School of Business at U of T and I was hooked; I think I've given copies of his book to at least a half dozen people who are interested in the shape of the future media world. I also recommend the etiquette of the "new" media; it make the wild west of the Internet a little less wild.