A Blogger Who Claims He's In Birmingham Asks: What's With Mlive's Bogus Datelines?
Virtually all news sites and traditional media play it straight under staff bylines, reserving datelines for on-site reporting – not calls to the place named, email replies from there or summaries linked to reporting by others in that city, writes Alan Stamm.
Stamm, in his blog, Alan's Alley, notes: We’ve got an outlier in Michigan -- MLive.
Mlive uses datelines on aggregated pickups prepared at its 10 regional “hubs” or elsewhere.
“We strongly suggest that reporters use datelines on most of their stories and posts, Kelly Adrian Frick, MLive Media Group director of community news told Stamm. ”This can sometimes look clunky, particularly when the story location isn’t where the reporter is sitting,” she acknowledged Sept. 7 from Standish in response to an email inquiry. ”Because of that, we are constantly evaluating how and when the use of datelines makes sense.”
Readers may not recognize the distinction or care, and it’s less important than whether a story is clear, correct and cogent. But in this age of lean news staffs and repackaged content, news aggregators may use bogus datelines to masquerade as street reporters.