For the last few weeks, local and national blogs buzzed with the story of Tina Dupuy, a L.A. freelance writer (and blogger) who sent an opinion column to the Tampa Tribune for possible publication. Well, the Tribune did indeed publish the op-ed, but they never paid Dupuy for her work. When she contacted them about it, an editor claimed any unsolicited article sent in was ripe for free publishing. She didn’t agree and made this video.
But this act by Tribune editors did not surprise some local bloggers, including myself. We’ve had our blog posts outright stolen — copied word-for-word and pasted onto the Tribune‘s website, TBO.com. Michael Hussey of Pushing Rope even started a Facebook page after editors ignored his request to cease such unethical behavior. And most recently, Dave Dugan of Zencomix sent the Tribune a $400 invoice after finding out the newspaper reprinted at least four blog comics without permission.
Well, the Tribune finally decided to do something about all the negative attention.
First, they paid Tina Dupuy. Here’s her new video about it:
And sometime over the last few days, the Tribune edited those orginal posts they stole from local bloggers to just an excerpt that links back to the original story; basically, what they should’ve done to begin with. I hope this was an effort to right a wrong and not an attempt to erase any evidence of unethical behavior (either way, I do have screenshots and the cached version is still available).
But honestly, a little apology would have sufficed.
UPDATE: Sticks of Fire has a response from TBO.com’s director of content here.