David Haugh, a sportswriter from the Chicago Tribune, has referred to what I do here as “the not so brave world of blogging.” Of course he would never refer to me directly, but has referred generally to bloggers as such. Apparently people in the “real” media like David are angry that someone like me can do what I do and attract readers away from his paper, which is seriously harming the newspaper industry. I’m sure David thinks I am a pimply-faced 20-something, sitting in my parent’s basement surrounded by computer equipment, the largest bag of Cheetos available and an opened case of Yoo-Hoo.
I am indeed in the basement (of the house I own), surrounded by computer equipment, but as much as it would pain David to know this, I am a professional with an advanced degree, a full-time job and a wife and kids to support. I spend hours researching and writing about the Bears and derive no income from it, only expending passion for the subject matter.
Today, David writes an article about some notable Chicago Bears opening games played since 1992. I think it’s a good article and well thought-out subject. In the article, David pulls a bunch of quotes. He uses a quote from 1992 that he doesn’t attribute to anyone:
“During the preseason Ditka had said, I feel better about this team going into the season than I did in 1985.”
During a preseason game in August 1992, Mike Ditka was quoted by the television commentators as saying “I feel better about this team going into the season than I did in 1985.” Whether Ditka said this to distract attention from the turmoil brewing around his camp is unknown, but there were obvious questions.
Hm. The quote is exactly the same, word for word. And you know what? I didn’t get this quote from the paper, so you can’t tell me you pulled it from the Tribune archives. My quote was a paraphrase of what one of the preseason TV analysts said. Did you watch the Bears’ 1992 preseason games yesterday while writing your article on deadline, as I did, to come up with this quote? Didn’t think so.
Everyone may wonder what the point of this ramble is, so I’ll close. I think David Haugh is a good writer. I’ve cited him here in the past and complimented him. Nothing personal-I have been fair to David. But David, if you’re going to rip bloggers and jab and write that a guy like me is an idiot, then don’t use the work I have passionately created for 9 years for nothing in return. I attributed in my article where this quote came from, you can’t mention that you trolled a cowardly blogger’s site for this information?
If you do think I’m a coward, then contact me and explain the contradiction that a real writer can call bloggers cowards and imply they are less intelligent than you and at the very same time use their work for your own gain.
Feel free to read and use my creations, David. There’s nothing wrong from the journalism ethics standpoint with what you did. I just find it ironic. It would just be nice for you to maybe just once in your career throw a bone and admit that you’ve used my work in your research, since you obviously used this.
[Update] I spoke to several colleagues, including one that does have a Master’s in Journalism from Northwestern-he was probably a classmate of David’s. They encouraged me to contact the Editor of Tribune Sports. I was preparing to write David a note. But I re-read the article and because David doesn’t attribute any of the quotes to anyone, I guess it’s no different that he didn’t attribute my work to me. So I’m going to drop this, but leave my post here as-is. I still believe that it’s ethical to cite where you’re getting your quotes, which is what I strive to do on my websites when I can. To not cite a blogger because as you have written in the past you have no respect for bloggers, is not right. That’s my opinion.