Comments on: How the byline beast was born Tue, 10 Feb 2015 19:54:39 +0000 hourly 1 By: RoykosFeet Sun, 15 Jul 2012 16:42:07 +0000 Schafer appears to be another good writer with poor reporting skills and questionable reasoning skills.

The fact is that the grunts in the Philippines earned 35 to 40 CENTS per story. Get your facts straight.

As for “Where does the sanctity of the byline come from?”

Well, Jack, it comes from the concern that if a newspaper will lie (I know, very old school term, but accurate) about something as basic as who wrote the story your reading, it’s a short slip and slide down the slope toward any number of other ethical shortcuts.

I’m wondering where you worked before Slate and Rueters. You appear to have no idea of the distinction between an op-ed piece and a news article.

By: RoykosFeet Sat, 14 Jul 2012 22:18:58 +0000 I don’t know what type of background and qualifications Jack Schafer has, but If it involves doing factual reporting once upon a time, he needs a refresher course.

Schafer writes, “No well-paid staff reporter wants to be replaced by one of Journatic’s $10-an-hour wage slaves living in the Philippines, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet republics, Brazil or Africa.”

If he’d bothered acting like a real reporter, Schafer would know that the folks in the Philippines typing-up Journatic’s aggregated, raw “local content” are paid 35-to-40 CENTS per story.

So, yeah, Jack’s correct- I think we’d all pass on that.

As for “the sanctity of bylines,” gee, Jack, I guess some of us just feel that if a publisher feels justified in lying (I know, such an old school term, “lying,” in this brave new journalistic world) about who in fact actually wrote what’s being offered to readers, than it’s not a very big jump to lying about other thing on the pages you publish.

By: OlivesDad Sun, 08 Jul 2012 01:01:38 +0000 Jack…Jack…Jack…

In referencing “$10-an-hour wage slaves living in the Philippines, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet republics, Brazil or Africa” are you endorsing the use of economically attractive resources, or are you reflecting your particularly arrogant sense of superiority? I fear the latter.

Just because you have a byline (whether deserved or not is an entirely separate issue) doesn’t warrant your defense or criticism of the practice, nor does it establish you as an authority. And the use of pseudo-Anglo names by the poor schmucks actually doing the stringing is a particularly revealing (as in racist!) practice approved and encouraged by someone much closer to the actual culprits.

Here is the issue: Bad Editing…not bad or tacky reporting techniques.

In your case, you are bad at both. To wit…can you spellcheck and factcheck “Monkeyfish”?


Wish you would make use of a “Bye Line”. Permanently.

By: mulholland Sat, 07 Jul 2012 22:10:41 +0000 They pay you to print it and you expect us to pay you to see it? Ha!

By: ptiffany Sat, 07 Jul 2012 17:59:00 +0000 BTW, all of us responders have bylines too, many of them pseudonyms.

By: ptiffany Sat, 07 Jul 2012 17:50:13 +0000 Scandal? So, bylines are so numerous that they have become meaningless? The Indian call centers started using American-sounding pseudonyms as a ploy to lessen the cultural differences going back over a decade. Novelists have used nom-de-plumes for centuries.

News organizations have had to cut costs as the technology and marketplace has changed. It’s called survival and adaptation to the marketplace.

So, what’s the beef?

By: MIKEROL Sat, 07 Jul 2012 00:55:53 +0000 Can’t we blame Romney in some way for outsourcing here??

By: johncabell Fri, 06 Jul 2012 23:54:45 +0000 As a Reuters desker many years ago I reveled in the inherent anonymity of the position. My favorite moments were writing lengthy spot-news stories under the byline of the person on the ground covering the story who didn’t have the time to actually write it, but only to phone in some notes and be debriefed on color. On one occasion I wrote 600 words for a traveling correspondent from a single quote as he traveled with the president. The story was on the wire by the time he had reached the next destination. This wasn’t subterfuge or ghosting but genuine reporting in the voice of rightful reporter hamstrung by time or the limitations or technology.

There is a mystique to bylines but I agree that since they’ve merely become a means of attributing credit (or blame) and are used, as appears to be the case with Journatic, to imply some sort of homey gravitas, they are borderline meaningless.