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Grabbing Scoops: Who Gets Credit?

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 23, 2008 at 1:59AM

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.
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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

This article is related to: Festivals, Genres, Media, Comic-Con, Sequel


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.