Not classy, Star Tribune!

Given the Strib’s bleating over not getting credit for proprietary work retransmitted by wire services, you’d think the paper would be more diligent about crediting others. But if you enjoyed the nifty story on Mississippi River otters on page B7 Wednesday, you might not have realized the piece was crafted by Minnesota Public Radio’s Dan Olson.

Associated Press didn’t strip Olson’s byline, as you can tell from this version appearing on Newsday.com … or on Startribune.com. Still, even Strib.com doesn’t mention Olson’s MPR affiliation up top, though there is a credit line at the end.

Update: The Pioneer Press, which ran Olson’s story in print on Sunday, included his name and MPR’s, and online.

I know journalists pay more attention to bylines than readers, but as the Strib well knows, credit is important not only for fairness, but to promote organizations that do the work, rather than retransmit the work. That’s vital as we try to convince the public to support original reporting.

Also, MPR’s Bob Collins notes, the Strib limits metro news organizations from using AP content generated by the newspaper’s staff.

I can only hope this was an unintentional error, and know the Strib has probably had its oxed gored on more occasions. Still, some editor should send Olson an apology.

Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by nate minor on 08/26/2009 - 10:21 am.

    For another identical example, see Stephanie Hemphill’s (also of MPR) 10 year BWCA blowdown story that the Strib ran in July: http://www.startribune.com/sports/outdoors/49872017.html

    …And her original story on MPR: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/07/01/bwca_blowdown_anniversary/

    Not classy indeed.

  2. Submitted by karl anderson on 08/26/2009 - 10:33 am.

    Not sure why this is a big deal. The information was included. Maybe not at the top, but you make it sound like there was no reference whatsoever.

    I am sure there are many stories done by the Strib that are reported under ‘associated press.’ Is your arguement that Assoc Press should credit every story?

  3. Submitted by David Brauer on 08/26/2009 - 10:43 am.

    Karl – this information wasn’t included in the Strib’s print version. It easily could’ve been, without taking up much space.

    Again, the Strib is loud and proud about its reporters getting credit in other outlets. It should do the same when using other outlets’ work.

    AP did the right thing by including the information, as they do regularly. The Strib’s omission is on the paper, not the wire service.

  4. Submitted by karl anderson on 08/26/2009 - 12:13 pm.

    I believe every news outlet should credit who actually wrote the story – the strib included. But there are numerous examples in print and online where ‘associated press’ is the only credit.

    Is your arguement that ‘associated press’ should always be replaced with the actual writer’s name and publication?

    In this day and age I want to know who actually wrote the piece. No? This is precisely why I don’t trust digital only news sites unless I know where they are getting their stories.

  5. Submitted by Pamela Miller on 08/26/2009 - 05:07 pm.

    I’m the one who channeled the MPR story into the Star Tribune last night. It came to us via AP. Generally we put an AP line on shorter stories we edit and the full origin line on longer pieces. In this case, I should have put the full MPR info on the otters story. Will do so next time. — Pam Miller, night metro editor, Strib

  6. Submitted by Bruce Adomeit on 08/27/2009 - 12:20 am.

    My colleague Pam’s classy posting #5 deserves a headline:

    We otter use a credit

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