IEA Communications Director Charlie McBarron (left).
About a year ago I got a call asking if I would serve on the editorial committee of the Illinois Education Association Retired’s web site, The Insider.
I support my IEA Retired organization, so when I am asked to do something for it, I try to say yes and do my best.
The job was simple enough. If I saw something on the internet that was of interest or useful to IEA Retired members I should send it in with a brief paragraph introducing it.
I sent in several items that were posted and linked to the original source.
On two occasions I was asked if it was okay to repost things from my blog. One was a tribute to a long-time IEA activist who had passed away. And recently I was asked if The Insider could reprint my blog post on the debate over the Confederate flag at the NEA RA. It was a post in which I applauded the IEA leadership for supporting the NBI.
In both cases, IEA Communications Director Charlie McBarron’s office copied the posts I had written, turned them into pdfs and then posted them into The Insider with no credit that they were reprints from this blog. And no link.
Charlie McBarron’s communications office doesn’t want a link to my blog on the IEA website.
Anyone reading these two posts would have thought I had written them for The Insider.
This violates the common internet practice of linking to and crediting original sources.
I asked that either my blog be credited and have a link to it or that the posts be taken down.
IEA Communications responded,
“Once the Insider is ‘out there’ it can’t be changed; it’s in people’s mailboxes. So there’s really nothing we can do.”
This is, of course, not true. It is a web site and can be edited at any time.
And so in spite of my objection to the misuse of something I produced, Charlie refuses to take down work that belongs to me and that he does not have my permission to use.
I no longer will volunteer my time to The Insider.