Almost two years ago, David Carr posted a piece on this blog about statues in Trafalgar Square. In the comments, I made a brief observation that the person I would commemorate with a statue there was mathematician Alan Turing, who is rather inadequately commemorated given that his achievements were that he won the second world war and invented the computer. (Yes I am exaggerating, but not truthfully by all that much).
Yesterday, I received a couple of e-mails and then a phone call from the letters editor of the Evening Standard newspaper here in London. The paper had a couple of days earlier published an article on a plan to put a statue of Nelson Mandela in the square, and they wanted to publish some responses from readers. He thought that my comment (that he had presumably found by Googling) was very interesting, and would I write a short letter to the newspaper saying the same thing?
I was happy to oblige, but I asked that if they publish the letter that they credit this blog as well as me personally. And that is exactly what they did. They published my letter in this evening’s newspaper (slightly edited for space, unfortunately) and credited me as “Michael Jennings, samizdata.net” at the end.
If you are a newspaper editor who wishes to use the blogosphere as a source, this is exactly the right way to go about it. Contact the blogger first, get him to update what he wrote, and always credit the blog and publish its address. We bloggers love being linked to.