Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Nuvo Hasn't Changed Its Plagiaristic Ways

I see Nuvo hasn't changed it's plagiaristic ways under the direction of Austin Considine. When a reporter constantly bugs you for information on a story, lifts generously from your blog posts and then credits others with work you've done, it demonstrates something less than flattering about their character. You may recall I had the same issue with Considine's predecessor, Laura McPhee, who blatantly ripped off my blog posts on Advance America's Eric Miller without any attribution. She later begrudgingly issued an apology to me after the newspaper's attorneys reviewed her work and saw the error in her journalistic ways. Considine did like McPhee in his story this week discussing the Ballard administration's 50-year lease agreement with ACS for the city's parking meter business. Considine contacted me for information on several occasions regarding the connections of various players at ACS, all of which information I had already written about on my blog. He even had the audacity to credit fellow blogger Paul Ogden for state lobbying records I uncovered showing Ryan Vaughn has been a registered lobbyist for ACS. Even Paul's post on the subject credited the find to me but not Considine's article. Apparently, Vaughn is now denying he ever personally lobbied for ACS, notwithstanding the state lobbying records to the contrary. It must have been a mistake just like his registration for John Bales' Venture Real Estate. Obviously, they don't teach any journalistic ethics to the folks at Nuvo, which has declined considerably in quality alternative news reporting in recent years.

UPDATE: As a courtesy, I will post this response I received from Considine to the issues raised in the blog post:

Yes, I came to you for help. I was looking for help on primary sources to vet some of your claims -- many of which one also finds on Ogden, on the IBJ, etc. You just didn't bother to share them with me. You told me I could find what I needed online. Or that I should call Mike Huber, which, of course, I was doing and had done anyway (he's only the biggest character in this story). Which is fine. It just means I had to do all my own leg work to vet claims made on your blog, on Ogden's blog, and at the IBJ. I expect that -- it's my job. Just don't expect me to source you. I didn't steal one single piece of primary reporting from you. Not one. And I didn't "constantly bug you for information on a story." I emailed you a few times. Jesus Christ, is it pleasant swimming that much vitriol? The only reason I sourced Ogden was because he, to my knowledge, was the first to publicly "discover" (by publishing) that link to IDOA. Yes, he had to ask you for direction on that, personally, as he writes in in blog. I'm sure he was grateful when you pointed him in the right direction. So, when he went to the Web site, he "discovered" the link for himself and for the reading public. I've never seen that link on your page. I sourced him because that's where I found the link. I wasn't going to source you just because you said somewhere that Vaughn lobbied for ACS. A second-hand source isn't good enough for me. If you care about facts, you should appreciate that. I tried getting to those primary sources by reaching out to you first. You told me to go look on the internet. Explain to me how any of this is plagiarism. -- Austin Considine, news editor, NUVO
My response: I didn't link directly to the DOA website because the link doesn't display the data without a separate search, but I specifically said the information came from state lobbying records. I directed you to the Indiana Lobby Registration Commission online records, as well as the Department of Administration's records. Ogden cut and paste the information from the Department of Administration's website into his blog after I prompted him to its whereabouts; he didn't link to it. As I discovered the last time I attempted to link to the DOA's website on a lobbyist registration records pertaining to Vaughn, the information mysteriously disappeared within hours. The DOA told another reporter it wasn't intentional; just a long-planned software update that inadvertently removed the data--only applicable to Vaughn's registration information I might add. As I explained to you, the comings-and-goings of ACS folks was documented in archived stories of the IBJ and the Star. Further, as I explained to you, I worked in the IT field before going into private practice and knew first-hand how Mssrs. Goldsmith, Roob, Stitt and Lathrop had all worked at ACS from a direct conversation I had with Roob years ago. Further, their initial start-up business, NetGov, didn't just struggle as you reported; it actually went bankrupt and left a number of creditors holding the bag for their debt and some pretty disappointed well-connected investors. This came on the heels of boasts by these individuals about their anticipation of landing big online government deals with Chicago, L.A. and New York, none of which came to fruition. These individuals went to work for another company that was eventually acquired by ACS and took with them the intellectual property developed by their bankrupt company, which I doubt was worth much from what I could determine from NetGov's failed efforts. I was the first to report on the connection of former FSSA Secretary Mitch Roob and his former employer, ACS, being awarded the welfare privatization deal, which other reporters subsequently picked up on without attribution, of course.

8 comments:

austin said...

Dear Gary:

Yes, I came to you for help. I was looking for help on primary sources to vet some of your claims -- many of which one also finds on Ogden, on the IBJ, etc.

You just didn't bother to share them with me. You told me I could find what I needed online. Or that I should call Mike Huber, which, of course, I was doing and had done anyway (he's only the biggest character in this story).

Which is fine. It just
means I had to do all my own leg work to vet claims made on your blog,
on Ogden's blog, and at the IBJ.

I expect that -- it's my job. Just
don't expect me to source you. I didn't steal one single piece of
primary reporting from you. Not one.

And I didn't "constantly bug you for information on a story." I
emailed you a few times. Jesus Christ, is it pleasant swimming that
much vitriol?

The only reason I sourced Ogden was because he, to my knowledge, was
the first to publicly "discover" (by publishing) that link to IDOA.
Yes, he had to ask you for direction on that, personally, as he writes
in in blog. I'm sure he was grateful when you pointed him in the right direction.

So, when he went to the Web site, he "discovered" the link for himself
and for the reading public. I've never seen that link on your page. I sourced him because that's where I found
the link. I wasn't going to source you just because you said somewhere
that Vaughn lobbied for ACS. A second-hand source isn't good enough
for me. If you care about facts, you should appreciate that.

I tried getting to those primary sources by reaching out to you first.
You told me to go look on the internet.

Explain to me how any of this is plagiarism.

-- Austin Considine, news editor, NUVO

austin said...

Thanks for posting my response.

But as a point of fact, Ogden did, in fact, post the link. He didn't just cut and paste. It's at the bottom of this post:

http://www.ogdenonpolitics.com/2010/10/council-president-ryan-vaughn-lobbies.html

Going bankrupt, I think, still falls under the umbrella of "struggling," but I will agree wholeheartedly that the point bears underscoring. This is the way newspaper and blogs should work together -- filling in each others' gaps, rather than acting like crabs in a barrel.

-- Austin Considine, news editor, NUVO

Advance Indiana said...

Austin, Bloggers like myself devote countless hours to our work without compensation. We are often chided by people in the mainstream media, particularly the Star's Dennis Ryerson. Yet we can track visits to our blogs daily through tracking software from all of the local news organizations. Reporters often acknowledge reading my blog daily and will source me in their stories; others just take the story ideas and run with it as their own.

Cato said...

Wouldn't it just be easier to have you write a guest column? Their editors could review it for journalistic rigor and make appropriate changes, but you would be the author.

Is NUVO in the business of reporting news or ensuring certain people get credit?

interestedparty said...

Boys, boys, boys, you must have better ways to spend your time. And in public, too!

Paul K. Ogden said...

For what its worth, Gary, Austin has never run down blogging and seems to understand the importance. I can't say the same about Ryerson.

Marycatherine Barton said...

Oh my goodness.

kate said...

I think sticking together and working together might be the better answer. As you can see, the citizens read various blogs, papers, etcetera. It's important to get the story out there and make the people aware of the political corruption and unethical business practices of ACS. Especially the corruption of the elected officials involved.
Both of you are right that The Star did not provide accurate information regarding this deal. That's why it's up to the two of you and the many other bloggers to stick together and tell the real story. I appreciate the hard work that everyone has put into exposing this deal, as I'm sure all the readers do too.