A real one, it seems (real meaning “from Judith Griggs”). It’s up at the Cooks Source site.
The good news is that there’s an apology to Monica Gaudio, along with the assertion that indeed a donation has been made to the Columbia School of Journalism, as Ms. Gaudio requested. So that’s good.
The rather less good news is that the apology seems generally to be avoiding the fact that Ms. Griggs’ letter to Ms. Gaudio plus the extensive examples of articles wholly taken from other sources without clearance or payment make it clear that the issue with the Cooks Source was not “an oversight of a small, overworked staff.” It also attempts to imply that the problem with Cooks Source was not Ms. Griggs’ “The Internet is a buffet of rights-free material” philosophy but that contributors playing fast and loose with other people’s material were somehow to blame.
The final little annoying touch is the attempt to suggest that the real victims here are the people that Cooks Source “assists,” i.e., its readers, etc. Well, no. In fact the real victims — the ones who have suffered verifiable material loss — are the writers and rights-holders whose work was appropriated without compensation. It’s nice that Cooks Source has caved and given Ms. Gaudio what she asked for; I wonder how it and Ms. Griggs plans to compensate everyone else it took work from without compensation.
In all, I give this apology a D+, and that passing grade is entirely for compensating Ms. Gaudio as Ms. Gaudio requested. Otherwise, let’s not pretend that if the Internet hadn’t fallen on Ms. Griggs’ head, that even this grudging effort at an apology would exist. This is the apology of someone who is sorry she got caught, not the apology of someone who feels she has done wrong. And, well. She did do wrong, and she should have done better.