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Oops, Carol Vogel did it again (and again)

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Among other journalists, New York Times reporter Carol Vogel is about as unpopular as can be. Why? For one, she routinely runs stories other writers and publications broke first, and presents them as her own. Take this item that’s in today’s “Inside Art,” Vogel’s weekly press-release dump.

Back on Tuesday, October 29, The New York Observer’s Dan Duray reported:

The Observer has learned that Skarstedt Gallery plans to take over the gallery space formerly occupied by Haunch of Venison at 550 West 21st Street. …

Then here’s Vogel in this morning’s paper:

Over the years, 550 West 21st Street in Chelsea has been a trucking garage, a nightclub and an art gallery. It was last home to Haunch of Venison, the contemporary-art gallery that Christie’s acquired in 2007 and that closed in March. (The auction house absorbed the business into its private sales department.)

Now that space will be the second New York gallery for Per Skarstedt, who already operates out of 20 East 79th Street in Manhattan, and on Old Bond Street in London. …

Nowhere in the item does Vogel credit Duray or the NYO. Crediting others who break a story before you do is among the most basic journalistic practices. But this is at least the third time this year (!) that Vogel has taken a story from another outlet without crediting the original reporting. (It’s the second time that she has presented a Duray scooplet as her own.)

The NYT should run a correction immediately — and it’s long past time for NYT culture editor Danielle Mattoon to do something about Vogel’s routine failure to acknowledge the work of others.

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  1. Sarah says:

    Hmmm. I do hope you have more information than timing. Vogel could have learned this from an email sent by Skarstedt or… some other way. It isn’t really much of a “scoop.” I am not convinced by this evidence that your accusation is fair. The guilty judgement seems heavy handed. BTW, I don’t know or care about Vogel, except to feel uneasy at the scent of a possible witch hunt.

  2. I think Mr. Green is overreacting a bit on this one. First, this is hardly a scoop-type story; it’s the art-world equivalent of knowing that the former Clyde’s Stationery Store is going to be a FedEx Office location. Second, different outlets often run the same small story at different times without making mention of the outlet which ran the story first. (I get e-mails of breaking stories on the NY Times that arrive long enough after the same story e-mailed to me by the LA Times to have been lifted from the LAT.) Third, it’s entirely possible that Ms. Vogel got her info from a source, e.g., Skarstedt, other than the Observer, and was simply late on the story. (It’s rather common for a writer at one outlet to be told, “You missed that story that The Bugle had, and we’re going to look negligent if we don’t run something on it.” (Facts aren’t copyrightable.) The Haunch-Skarstedt story–though it’s more like an item–could be in that category. Fourth, Mr. Green has an animus–justified or not–toward Ms. Vogel’s journalism and his complaint this time looks like a lying-in-wait gotcha! It reflects more unfavorably on Mr. Green than it does on Ms. Vogel–and this opinion comes from somebody who’s much more a fan of Mr. Green’s journalism than Ms. Vogel’s.

  3. Tyler Green says:

    It’s real simple: When someone else has a story first, you credit it. Journalism 101.

    (Other NYTers, such as Randy Kennedy, regularly go above-and-beyond when it comes to acknowledging the efforts of others. This is not an NYT arts-reporters-wide problem.)

  4. maureen says:

    I agree with Peter. An art space opens or moves – 1,000 press releases are sent on that news. But it’s not exactly breaking news. Many publications will mention it in art news maybe that day, maybe a week later, maybe in a monthly roundup. Unless there was investigative research, or quotes lifted, general news can be announced.

  5. Louise says:

    Agree. Just because someone printed an announcement first doesn’t mean it’s an exclusive scoop. Original reporting needs to be attributed, not news that any reporter can obtain via press release.

  6. Tyler Green says:

    Agreed. The Gallerist/Duray item was the product of original reporting.

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