Remember how Dean Singleton was complaining last year that Internet news organizations were stealing the news his papers and the AP were producing? Well, blogger Danny Sullivan shows how a story he broke on Friday (about a Utah woman suing Google for bad map directions) was ripped off without attribution by various media outlets, including AP (which is headed by Singleton) and Singleton’s Salt Lake City paper. Seems those who stole the story left some telltale traces that showed they had stolen Sullivan’s original work, but they didn’t have the courtesy to attribute it to his blog.

Bay Area Media News,


  1. Ever hear of a tip? Did the Salt Lake paper quote from Sullivan's story or just regard it as a lead? This happens all the time in reporting.
    The AP has had a virtual monopoly on news distribution since UPI became moribund. It is entitled to use copy from its member papers. In this case, the ones in Utah.
    Perhaps the Utah reporter passed up the suit initially because it was viewed as not a priority. News is what the media say it is. Think Obama and "corpse," which has been pretty well limited to the net.

  2. Read Sullivan's blog. Bet the AP picked it up from the Utah paper. The wire service has had a virtual monopoly on news gathering and distribution since UPI became moribund. The AP can do what it wants with a member's copy. As for Sullivan's complaint about the reporter in Utah: Perhaps that reporter passed on the story, viewing it as minor. It didn't become news until until someone else said it was – in this case Sullivan. As Phil Davis says in "Philip's Code," news isn't news "until the newspapers say it is." Witness the earlier blog here about the Brown Act. Something that happened in the 1990s is now news.

  3. Somebody should take a week of papers printed by the Mercury News and source each article. Find out who had written the story previously and how similar the Merc's story was to the original. Maybe a project for a professor of journalism.

  4. the journalistic equivalent of money laundering … making it seem as if you got the story on your own when you didn't.

  5. Dean Singleton and his newspapers are an example of everything wrong with the dead tree media today. His publications are almost uniformly biased to benefit corporate vultures like himself. He borrows nearly a billion dollars to buy out local newspaper owners, while decimating (more likely 'quatramating') the newstaff and cutting their salaries; and then he compensates himself like a king!
    Better still he 'bankrupts' out of paying for the newspapers he's purchased and ruined! Adding insult to injury, he's chair of AP, despoiling that 'collective' resource with his rightwing bent. Arrgggh. Die, Corporate News, Die.

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