Just a quick pointer to a post by Jeff Jarvis who has some interesting observations about blogging ethics in the context of linking and quoting from other sources. Seems the Associated Press has attempted to get some bloggers to stop using pull quotes (even as short as 35 words) from its stories and, somewhat understandably, the blogosphere is rebelling. Jarvis is leading the charge, and describes the ethic of link and quote as this:
It says to our readers: Don’t take my word for it, go see for yourself. And: Here’s what the source said; I won’t rephrase it but I will quote it directly so you can see for yourself.
I’ve always thought that this was one of the powerful qualities of blogging, the ability to send the reader back to the original to see the context for the writing. It’s what made me love teaching journalism with blogs, because it was so easy for me to follow my students’ line of thinking, but because it also gave me a great opportunity to talk about the issues of plagiarism and fair use and copyright with my kids. And, like Jeff, it’s what I want and expect now from traditional journalism, whether newspapers or magazines. It’s an expectation that makes print more and more difficult for me to read. It’s an expectation that I have of just about all non-fiction writing.
What’s interesting is that when I teach blogging workshops, this concept is not an easy one for people to wrap their brains around. The ease with which we can link and connect ideas makes this vastly different from the analog world. And the importance of links in connecting people is one of the foundational points in all of these discussions.
The continual disruptions to traditional journalism continue to fascinate me, another reason that I’m really looking forward to PDF next week.
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