Bloggers and Sri Lanka’s English language media
It seems that last week’ s (8th July 2007) English edition of the Lakbimanews paper contained several “articles” created by extracting and editing content from several blogs. My earlier post and Rhythmic Diaspora’s cool headed post noted this after we were both tipped off by anonymous. After a rush of comments that I followed up, it seems quite a few bloggers had their content used on the paper. The attribution was basic. A name at the bottom. No URLs to the original blog posts – even in the online version. Rhythmic Diaspora’s name was misspelled in the article using his text. All giving the false impression that the authors paid columnists of the Lakbimanews newspaper.
So to compensate here is the list of bloggers in alphabetical order (besides myself) whose content appears on the Sunday (8th July 2007) issue of Lakbimanews without proper link backs or URLs.
- Lakbima version “This one’s for Bevis“
- Ephemeral Rumination’s post: “This one’s for Bevis” posted Monday, July 2nd, 2007
- Lakbima version: “Piercings-more pain, more gain“
- Pissu Perera’s post: “Piercings = look at me, I’m here?” posted Sunday, 1 July 2007
- Lakbima version:”Sri Lankan Mothers Have you got one?“
- Rhythmic Diaspora’s post:“Sri Lankan Mothers – Have you got one?” posted Tuesday, July 3, 2007
- Lakbima version:”Road rage, it just takes over, I tell you!!!“
- Scribbles Galore post: “Road rage, it just takes over I tell you!!!” posted November 17, 2005
Its easy to get worked up about this and rant about ethics and the copyright issues etc. As I’ve noted on my comment on Rhythmic’s site this may be an outcome of the competition is heating up among English language papers – specially the Sunday ones.
A win win situation
Yes there is one. A big opportunity. If only mainstream editors knew how important link backs are to bloggers. The sad fact is that if asked most bloggers would have happily agreed to have their stuff in print. The papers would have easily roped in a lot more bloggers to crank out quite a bit of content. In exchange of publicity and perhaps even as part of a wider pool of (eventually paid) writers. Ad-sense bloggers in particular might like this, using mainstream media to attract readers.
For some this might not be a good idea. For other it might be. Right now the blogosphere seems nonchalant, leaning against the wall in their zoot suits sipping matinees.
At least this little episode got me a nice little jump in the hit count Eventually, with patience, people will hopefully learn that with a bit of co-operation all can benefit.
Hopefully Lakbima will realise that they are sitting on a gold mine (not in the current looter sense). Otherwise someone else will and start digging ahead of them.
I was going to call this post “Is English language media going to raid the SL blogosphere?” Perhaps its a good thing I didn’t.