A few years ago, when I was working for the Boston Phoenix, I called Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz and suggested he look into why the Boston Globe had run with a story broken by one of my Phoenix colleagues without giving the Phoenix any credit.
I don’t have Kurtz’s exact quote, but this is pretty close: If I investigated every complaint I got about reporters who didn’t think their work had been properly credited, I’d never do anything else.
Indeed, and it’s a line I ended up using myself a few times — including the day that I was simultaneously fielding complaints that the Globe had not credited the Boston Herald, and that the Herald had not credited some other paper. It’s endemic, and there are no generally agreed-upon rules for when you should and when you shouldn’t.
All of which is a long way of saying that Adam Reilly’s treatment of the credit issue in this week’s Phoenix is among the more thoughtful analyses of this sore subject that I’ve seen.