The Media

AP: Attribution Periodically?

MT Cowgirl blog, two days ago:

The leader of the Billings Montana Shrugged TEA Party and a TEA Party Republican state lawmaker have been caught posting remarks online that imply support for shooting their political opponents.

Matt Gouras, writing for the AP, today:

A Republican Montana state legislator said Wednesday he was talking about weapons of the mind in an online discussion with a tea party leader about stocking up on “ammo” to “attack” socialists.

Rep. James Knox, of Billings, raised some eyebrows with a recent conversation on Facebook.

The Associated Press’s attribution policy:

Therefore, here is our policy for crediting other news organizations in our reporting. This policy is aimed at introducing consistency to our practices around the world, and applies to our print, broadcast and online news reports.

The policy addresses two kinds of situations:

— Attributing to other organizations information that we haven’t independently reported.
— Giving credit to another organization that broke a story first, even when we match it — or advance it — through our own reporting.

While I’m glad (and I suspect Cowgirl is as well) that over one hundred news outlets have picked up this story about TEA Party extremism, it would certainly be nice if the guardians of truth in the halls of journalism would acknowledge the debt they owe to those unprofessional, Cheetos eating bloggers living in their basements, wouldn’t it?

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.


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  • Don, I don’t know where the AP got the tip, but Kayla, the woman who gave the Facebook screenshot to Cowgirl, said she relayed the same information to the Billings Gazette. That may be. Our political reporter is out all week, so maybe her email is sitting in his in-box. If she sent it to us, I suppose it’s possible she also sent a link to the AP.

  • *Nice post. I learn something more challenging on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their store. I’d prefer to use some with the content on my blog whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll give you a link on your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

  • Wonderful learn, I just handed this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on that. And he truly purchased me lunch as a result of I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch! Anyway, in my language, there are usually not much good source like this.

  • Thanks for this post. I definitely agree with what you are saying. I have been talking about this subject a lot lately with my father so hopefully this will get him to see my point of view. Fingers crossed!

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Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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