MSNBC the New HuffPo?
By Prescott Carlson in Miscellaneous on Feb 26, 2009 11:15PM
A couple months ago, there was a dust up when Chicago Reader's web editor Whet Moser became justifiably irate after he discovered The Huffington Post had republished a Reader Critic's Choice piece in its entirety. Now we're talking about a mammoth website lifting content again, but this time with different players -- MSNBC, Chicago public radio station WBEZ, and the middleman, NBC Chicago.
It all started innocently enough on Tuesday when NBC Chicago wrote a blurb touting WBEZ's Hard Working series "about jobs and joblessness" providing helpful links to the show page and the audio. The problem came when daddy website MSNBC.com republished the story, but this time without any links back to WBEZ. To make matters worse, according to WBEZ web editor Justin Kauffman, they also added "essentially the full transcript" of the show to the site.
While the transcript seems to have since been removed, no links have been added. So Kauffman is "turning up the heat" with a photoshop Keith Olbermann contest. But while MSNBC may have placated the "theft" issue for now (assuming they have some sort of agreement with NBC Chicago to use their content), they're still dolts about the internet user experience, proving that it's not just mainstream print media that doesn't know what the hell they are doing on the web. If MSNBC is scraping content from trusted sources, stripping out all the links is idiotic especially when those sources routinely employ "read more" type links at the ends of pieces. It's like a newspaper picking up a lengthy AP story that requires a jump and then not including the second page. So the question is, will there be a Chicago Journalism Town Hall next year crowing about the demise of cable TV news?