Times On-Line Flunks Journalism 101

I don't know whether to be flattered or furious.

I feel flattered because I was quoted yesterday, quite extensively I might add, in a story entitled Danger online: Perils of revealing every intimate moment published in the Times On-Line, the Internet version of the venerable UK newspaper.

But I feel furious because I was never interviewed for the story and had no idea I even appeared in the story until my daily Google Alert for Don Mills Diva lead me there.

The published quotes, which are attributed to me, are lifted from an interview I gave to a Canadian newspaper in April of 2008 and from two blog posts I wrote around that time: one on the dangers of becoming addicted to blogging and one which was a response to the nasty on-line comments to the Globe article.

Neither the newspaper - the Globe and Mail - nor this site are attributed as sources.

Further, it appears the article is an excerpt from a forthcoming book on social media authored by one of the reporters.

Ironic, wouldn't you agree, that the author purports to explore boundaries surrounding the publication of on-line material while failing to observe any?

I have sent an e-mail to the Times On-line editor outlining my concerns and asking whether this is standard journalistic practise at that publication. I have contacted the Globe reporter, who mused about whether she would be credited in the book's footnotes.

I'm betting not.

I'm betting not because I think this is a clear example of the kind of shoddy and misleading journalism that the mainstream media is continually accusing bloggers of practicing. I also think it's highly unethical, though admittedly not actually illegal.

I know it's disrespectful.

And that's why I'm feeling just a little more furious than flattered.

Stay tuned.

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