This is one of those rare occasions when the actual news is less interesting than the coverage around it. Here’s the leading info: “The Hobbit” writer, producer and suspected director Peter Jackson is in the midst of meeting with actors in the United Kingdom, Los Angeles and New York for potential roles in the two films. The Hollywood Reporter ran that news late yesterday. The funny thing there, as Deadline’s Nikki Finke points out in a blogged response, is that her own site reported the exact same news on June 25.
Personally, I side with Deadline here. The Hollywood Reporter and Variety both — two of the major print-based trades covering showbiz news — are notorious for reporting news sourced by other outlets without proper credit. That’s Journalism 101, folks: attributions, gotta have ’em. Many of the blogs and web-based news outlets out there which have had exclusives in the past have come to know this about THR and Variety firsthand, MTV included.
I can understand Finke’s frustration, but I’m not sure what there is to be done about it. Yesterday blog response, while certainly justified, still feels like the latest development in an ongoing, epic-scale pissing contest. The news item in question was certainly big when Deadline reported it a few weeks ago — especially the part about Jackson possibly directing — but the THR story is very clearly a footnote on the earlier report for anyone who counts Deadline among their frequently visited websites.
My rambling has a point and I’m coming to it now. I want to hear from you. My opinions are based on an insider perspective. You readers are the people being serviced by Deadline, THR, MTV and all the rest of it. Do you think this kind of back-and-forth is at all constructive? Finke has always had a knack for getting up on her soapbox, but do you see value in her latest response simply for calling out the trades’ unethical practices in this particular case? Were you even aware that this was an issue with THR and Variety?
Also… who do you think PJ is meeting with?!??!!?! Tee hee.