Aggregated Aggregation!

Is Aggregation and curration ethical?

There are many ethical debates as to whether aggregating and curating information is legal, and whether it is acceptable to use other people’s original work for profit. In an article written by Steve Buttry, (http://stevebuttry.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/aggregation-guidelines-link-attribute-add-value/.) he recommends the use of an accuracy checklist derived from Craig Silverman’s guidelines, that includes checking attribution before you turn a story in or publish in order to keep the content legal and ethical. Buttry’s guidelines include: always link to original source, always include clear attribution, always use quotation marks when you use someone else’s words, add value by summarising or comparing and do not copy.
In this article ( http://www.journalism.co.uk/news/journalist-launches-news-curation-and-aggregation-platform/s2/a556014/?utm_content=bufferabb4d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer ) the author covers a variety of pros of aggregating and curating stories. The article debates that this form of journalism is crucial in contemporary journalism, as it allows for one to form their own opinion based on a number of sources, all accessible from the one place. The article also argues that people can easily share and save news stories, which is extremely important and valuable in today’s society. The Author quotes Mark Potts describing Newspeg (an aggregated and curated site) as “a site where people can really easily share and save news stories, in a visual kind of way, in a way that picks up graphics from the story but also lets people know where it came from”.

Aside from ethical problems, there is various debate around the legality of aggregation. In the article ( http://www.niemanlab.org ), kimberly Isbell and many others believe that using others people’s work is un-just, particularly to those who own the original article. To differentiate between stealing and violating copyright a curated piece of work one must reference, link and attribute appropriately.

So is aggregating and curating ethical and/or legal? For one to make their aggregated piece legal, as mentioned they must reference appropriately. Using other people’s work for profit is not ethical in the eyes of many yet it allows such a valuable element of journalism in the growing age of efficiency and accessibility.

What do YOU think about this up-coming issue in contemporary Journalism?

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