by PuckStopsHere on 08/22/10 at 01:55 PM ET
I have been blogging about hockey for about five and a half years and have seen the hockey blogosphere grow from a small group of bloggers, where it was possible to read everything that everyone wrote, to such a large group that no matter how hard you try there is always somebody out there doing good stuff that you are completely unaware of. I think a rather significant milestone has occurred this week and it is worth writing a blog post to note it. As far as I am aware, we have had the first time that mainstream media sources have ripped off a hockey blog.
Pension Plan Puppets is probably the best Toronto Maple Leaf blog on the net. Their name is a bit of a joke about the fact that the Ontario Teacher`s Pension Plan owns the Toronto Maple Leafs as well as many other businesses in downtown Toronto. The joke is that a Toronto Maple Leaf Stanley Cup victory might lead to rioting that damages the other Pension Plan properties and hence they are happier keeping the Leafs as a bottom feeder. Thus the fans emotions are held hostage (as puppets) by the pension plan.
This blog has done a good job of finding news articles that are ignored by the mainstream media by translating Toronto Maple Leaf related European articles. A Czech newspaper published an interview with Tomas Kaberle`s father Frantisek. Pension Plan Puppets translated his quotes. Kaberle`s father says that he doesn`t understand why Tomas is staying in Toronto and implies Tomas does not get along with coach Ron Wilson. Dave Fuller of the Toronto Sun then published an article with the exact same quote translations. Pension Plan Puppets is not credited for finding the article or translating it, but the quote translations are verbatim from their post.
The Toronto Sun has a poor response where they claim that they checked the quote translations with google translate but do not need to attribute their source.
This isn`t the end of the story. It happened again on a translated Swedish newspaper article about Jonas Gustavsson.
In the end, I think the issue is that the mainstream media knows that they are in trouble. They are losing jobs and the blogosphere is gaining power. That doesn`t mean that both cannot operate simultaneously. In fact that model is necessary as independent bloggers do not have the access, time or money to travel on the road with teams and be on the “inside” with the various NHL teams. For the most part, the mainstream media breaks the news and the blogosphere comments on it and puts it into a broader context. However, many in the mainstream media maintain the outward opinion that the blogosphere has nothing to offer. It is a bunch of hacks in their underwear blogging from their mother`s basement. As this example with Pension Plan Puppets (and many others) show there is a lot of good stuff out there on the blogosphere. When these mainstream media members do find something of value that they want to use (steal) they do so uncredited because crediting it would show that it has something to offer and introduce some of its readership to the competition.
This is a coming of age moment for the hockey blogosphere. The mainstream media is stealing from the blogosphere. Congratulations to Pension Plan Puppets who provided the content worthy of stealing.
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