If you have a blog and have ever been contacted by a reporter from the real media, head over to Calculated Risk, and read Media Inquiries Policy. It’s so brilliant, I have it bookmarked and will just email the link to reporters and tell them to read it.
My own story. Way back in 2000 I drove Presidential Motorcade and met President Clinton. Then I did what any web developer would do. I created a web site of my experience. It was popular enough to get the attention of the New York Times. In April 2003 they called me for an interview. Then in September 2003, I was honored to see the story ran along with a photo of me.
The story ran with no reference to my web site or even a mention that I had a web site. Some real reporter received a paycheck for lifting quotes off my web pages and taking an image without attribution. And I waited 5 months for this? A year later the Los Angeles Times came knocking. I told that reporter to take a hike.
Calculated Risk (CR) says it so well:
You want to talk to us because of what we have written on this blog, instead of simply engaging with what we have written on this blog. You are saying that blog entries we have written, at our own inspiration, on our own time, for our own intellectual purposes, backed up by our own research, are not good enough for you to use as source material (properly credited). It only “counts” if you get to ask the questions, form the story angle, edit the material, and put names on it. This is the message we’re getting from you, and the only reason that our answer to many of your inquiries is “no” is that we areCR at least, istoo polite to make it “no, and go take a hike with the horse you rode in on.”
The Calculated Risk Blog is right. Why do we blog writers need to be validated by the real media? We don’t. My goal is to create web sites and to gain audiences for those sites. If a reporter can help me achieve my goal, I’ll help them with their story. And if my blog is good enough on its own to tell the story then pay me for it. Otherwise, bug off.