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Grabbing Scoops: Who Gets Credit?

by Anne Thompson
July 23, 2008 1:59 AM
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With Comic-Con looming, movie sites are pushing to get scoops on new movies of interest to the fan community. A sequel to 300, which broke big at Comic-Con, is a big deal.

Thus at the Saturn awards last month, after Collider.com got Zack Snyder to talk about a planned 300 sequel, word spread through the fan sites and eventually Variety tracked the story down and got official confirmation of Frank Miller writing a 300 prequel for Snyder to direct.

Here's how Variety handled the online coverage:

Another "300" has been rumored from the start, but last week Snyder and the original producing team stoked a frenzy online when they talked about it at the Saturn Awards.

This happens a lot.

This doesn't mean that Variety purposely stole the story, as Collider suggested. Variety's Diane Garrett actually nailed down more info.

It's not always cut-and-dry--sometimes everyone is chasing the same news and a given reporter may not be aware of what has broken online. A reporter isn't always tracking down where something broke first, just the story itself. "Sometimes when a publicist sees a story break online," asserts one major online site editor, "they try to place the story in a legitimate news source and they don't necessarily let anyone know."

The Collider protest led to several other sites joining a boycott of the Hollywood trade papers. Here are reports in Folio and MTV News, which spoke to Variety editor Peter Bart. He announced Variety.com's plan to create a blog of blogs:

“I think we’ll grow together. I really do and I think to some degree we want it. I would like to have us develop a blog of blogs, where we get a highlight reel of the best blogs that deal with the entertainment media. I think that will happen before long, and I think that would ameliorate some of these concerns.”

The fight for numbers now is so fierce that the site that breaks a story wants to get credit for it---via links and traffic. That is what is at stake. By the way, a host of mainstream outlets, online and print, rewrite Variety stories without always giving us credit, either. This is the way of the world.

Originally posted by Variety.com

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More: Festivals, Genres, Media, Comic-Con, Sequel

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