Less than a month ago, the Washington Post published an article on the launch of DC hyperlocal news site TBD. From the very beginning, the piece was rather dismissive of the news startup:
TBD.com — odd name, but let’s move on — is a new all-local news Web site that seems to be the answer to a question that no one has really been asking: Do media-saturated Washington and its environs need yet another source of information about Washington and its environs?
Today the Washington Post answered its own question when it posted the live news feed provided by TBD of the ongoing Discovery hostage standoff. I saw several tweets emanating from DC bloggers expressing irritation to how WashPo had re-appropriated the feed. One of the Twitter users seemingly irritated (based on his retweets) was TBD’s very own Director of Community Engagement Steve Buttry. I shot an email to Buttry asking him to comment on the situation. He replied that the problem wasn’t that WashPo had used its feed, it was that the newspaper had used its own logo to cover up TBD’s logo.
“First, I should be clear that they are allowed to use our feed,” Buttry wrote back. “That is a continuing agreement between the Post and NewsChannel 8 that predates TBD (in fact it dates to Jim Brady’s days at washingtonpost.com. But the agreement calls for the Post to show our branding on the feed and that agreement did not change when NC8 became TBD. Before [NYT media editor David Carr’s] tweet, Jim had already asked the Post to remove its labeling from our feed (but they moved pretty quickly once Carr noted it).”
Buttry went on to say, “I did not criticize [the original Washington Post piece criticizing TBD] and don’t care to comment about it. We were delighted with media coverage of the launch, and I’m not so thin-skinned that Farhi’s piece bothered me. (But I was also OK with retweeting Carr.) I enjoy competing with other local media. We link to the Post several times a day and always attribute appropriately. We expect no less from our colleagues and competitors.”