A digression, for your snow days:
Soup & Bread’s gotten some nice attention of late, and I am loathe to sound a complaint. Because, really — it’s great! But the (dormant) reporter in me is bemused. Three weeks ago Jessica Reaves wrote a nice little piece on us for her employer, the Chicago News Cooperative, which published it — titled Soup and Sociability, For a Worthy Cause — on its website on Thursday, January 20.
It gets better. The CNC has a deal with the New York Times to provide Chicago-specific content to the regional edition of the Grey Lady twice a week — and to my delight and surprise, Jessica’s piece turned up there the following day. So far, all good. Yay new media models!
Then this popped into my Google alerts, five days later: A writeup from a Chicago blogger paraphrasing Reaves’s story, with no mention of the author, the CNC, or the NYT, tricking it out with some info from LiveStrong, and cribbing a recipe from the Soup & Bread Cookbook, with no credit going there either. (For the record: That white bean-escarole-turkey meatball soup was cooked up by Celeste Dolan.)
Ah well. Bloggers. What can you do! They’re loose cannons. Right?
Four days after that, the same story turns up on the Christian Science Monitor website, which farms its food blogging out to a network of independent contractors. And then it shot to Los Angeles. And then to Europe.
None of them refer back to the original story. In the Los Angeles iteration, even Terry Boyd, the Chicago blogger, whom I have never met, has been stripped of his
I feel like a crank that this bugs me. I mean, at least no errors were introduced in this game of aggregation-telephone. Thank heavens for small favors.
But it’s instructive. Who commissioned this information? Which publication paid a reporter to come to our event, to talk to me in person, to make sure everyone’s name was spelled correctly? What city’s advertising is supporting the editorial work? Readers of Blue Kitchen, Los Angeles Online Daily, Europe Top News, and even the eminently respectable Christian Science Monitor will never know.