Back on November 21, 2009, I wrote an article about Rupert Murdoch and his threats to Google and how he was going to pull his news content away from search engines. [See my post here] So this morning I read a comment from a reader that stated the following:

You and everyone who blogs is a jerk. You steal the content of others and claim it as your own. Mr. Murdoch is correct in trying to protect real journalists as well as their news content.

Get a real life.

With the advent of the Internet one can no longer cite just the U.S. Constitution when it comes to Freedom of the Press. Instead I located what is called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights over at Wikipedia, which was established after World War II, and states the following:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers”

The words ‘everyone has the right of freedom of opinion and expression’ I believe, not only refers to journalists, but protects anyone who writes about anything and expresses their opinion. Also these words ‘through any media regardless of frontiers’ pertains to the Internet as well as printed news.

What is the word ‘news’ and what does it mean?  Who owns the news?

I believe the word ‘news’ pertains to any occurrence that is of interest to others. ‘News’ is something that peaks the interest of particular readers and may not be of interest to others. For example, if John Smith of Podunk, anywhere, falls off of his bike and needs medical treatment, this is ‘news’. But the audience may be limited to John’s family, his friends, neighbors and others, but not to the rest of the world.

Who owns this ‘news’? The journalist who writes about it? The news agency that reports it? I believe that John Smith actually owns this ‘news’ because it involved an incident that happened to him. Of course this would be ridiculous and would mean that John Smith should be compensated by everyone who reports the ‘news’ of his fall.

If a news agency posts an article on the Internet, and the article is free for all to see, should that article not be cited if credit is given to the writer?

What do you think?

Comments as always are welcome.

Wikipedia source.