Content producers had more to frown about than Viacom's claims against Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) YouTube being booted from court last week. David Carr in The New York Times points out other instances worth reviewing in a world of 24-hour news where pretty much anything can be posted to the Web. And where linking to other sites' articles (as this piece does) is standard fare.

Carr relates how Rolling Stone's thunder was stolen when Politico and Time Warner's (NYSE: TWX) Time magazine published Rolling Stone's story on Gen. Stanley McChrystal before it even had the chance to do so itself.

Meanwhile, Carr notes, Google and Twitter are arguing in court on behalf of website, which banks accuse of "free riding" on their research by sending out their upgrades and downgrades. A ruling in March favored Bank of America's Merrill Lynch unit, Barclays, and Morgan Stanley, according to Reuters.

Writes Carr about the Rolling Stone matter: "These were decisions made in the midst of a white-hot news cycle, and perhaps cooler heads will prevail the next time around. But if some of the biggest names in the business are not above cut-and-paste journalism when it suits their needs, how can they point a finger at others?"

As a former reporter and editor who remembers when the newsroom had just one Internet-connected computer, I am discouraged when I see lousy reporting and lax editing. Honesty, integrity, and transparency matter, at least at the local newspaper level. Playing fast and loose isn't so fun when you run into your readers at the grocery store, and every misspelled name makes readers question what else you're getting wrong.

But local newspapers aren't thriving. Use the comments section below to help me figure out how to apply journalistic standards to the big companies slugging it out to serve us information.

Fool online editor Kris Eddy owns no shares of any stocks mentioned in this article. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.