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Should New York Times Give L.A. Times Credit For Toyota Coverage?

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Mon, Feb 8, 2010 at 2:55 PM

click to enlarge toyota.jpg
If any one media outlet can be credited with Toyota Motor Sales' massive recall and the attention the Torrance-based company has received for alleged out-of-control acceleration problems, it's the Los Angeles Times, whose Ralph Ralph Vartabedian and Ken Bensinger broke the story, or at least hammered it home like no others, starting in October.

For the most part, the New York Times has been playing catch up with the L.A. paper, continually covering ground that had already been cleared by the the L.A. Times. However, the blog nytpicker notes, the New York publication has failed to credit the L.A. Times with breaking the stories despite the New York Times' ethics policy, which states, "When we first use facts originally reported by another news organization, we attribute them."

Nytpicker picks apart the Gray Lady for seeming oblivious to the Los Angeles Times earlier coverage of Toyota's mess. In particular, the blog notes New York Times Editor Bill Keller's ironic arrogance in recently describing the L.A. paper as "not what it once was."

The blog uses as an example of the New York Times' retreaded Toyota coverage a story from one week ago which mimics the story structure of an L.A. Times October story that described in its lede the deadly, out-of-control-acceleration crash of a Highway Patrol Officer and his family in San Diego.

" ... A look at the NYT's Toyota coverage -- in the wake of a superior series of stories in the Los Angeles Times beginning last October -- shows clearly that the NYT is engaged in a systematic effort to catch up with its competition," states nytpicker.

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