Daily Telegraph Steals From Blogger Word for Word

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The Daily Telegraph may be the first newspaper ever caught stealing content word for word from a blogger. How dumb is that?

Claire Zulkey of Media Bistro posted a a funny piece this last Thursday.

Melissa Whitworth of The Daily Telegraph’s New York bureau must have liked it, because she posted it word for word without permission or attribution.

The only thing that gave Melissa away? A link to me.

Whoops.

Comments

Newspapers

I have to admit it took some time to wipe the tears from my eyes...

This takes the cake.. established media now stealing content from bloggers... I love it.. if that doesn't show everyone what direction the established media is facing, nothing will.

These dinosaurs not only publish the news 3 days late, they steal the articles they are publishing....

Link bait?

If you were caught doing this in college, you'd be expelled, or at the very least fail the class. What happens when journalists do it?

Tears

Are those from laughter, or genuine sadness over the decline of dead tree media in real time? :)

Bad Data Push

plagurism hah! more likely some crossed the tubes on the inter-web thingy and the post was put up purely by accident ...

Now if only she can pursuade

Now if only she can pursuade her boss that it was a cunning linkbait idea...

Plariarism and the Telegraph

Internet plagiarism is rife at Oxford was a leader in the Telegraph in March this year. Perhaps their editors could learn something of how universities are combating the problem, and apply it to their own journalists. So for "students" read "journalists" below

Quote:
Prof Alan Grafen, the senior proctor, who is the university's chief disciplinary officer, said the number of students copying other people's work without acknowledgment threatened to undermine the worth of an Oxford degree.

He said the problem had become so serious that all students should be required to sign an affidavit for every piece of work they submitted, though he acknowledged that it might not prove much of a deterrent

Quote:
When a case was suspected, it was referred to the proctors, who took it before a disciplinary court. This had the power to reduce a mark, fail the student or permanently expel him or her - all sanctions that had been applied in the past year.
Quote:
Prof Grafen called for all new students to receive a lecture on plagiarism in which they were told that "any six consecutive words identical with a source need to be acknowledged, and an unacknowledged string of 10 consecutive identical words is pretty watertight evidence of malpractice".

Hmmmm....

...maybe she just thought of a sixth sign (being "the post is obviously a complete rip-off") and found this the perfect way to illustrate it hehe.

PS: the DT link is now a 404

Telegraph have removed that blog page now

Its airbrushed out of her profile

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/society/melissawhitworth/

Now you do not see the offending article!

That was a bit of an anti-climax.

Surely, she could have done lots more with this 'controversy'.

:tsk:

Bad Data Push

See I told you the tubes on the interweb got crossed and it was a bad data push ...

Maybe we should retract the headline...

Although getting sued by the Telegraph would be fantastic publicity for me. :)

They still published

the post, and it doesnt explain why the editor or whoever posted it to her blog didnt bother to ask why she put herself in Chicago when she was in New York. If the editor read it, was there any question as to whether this was fact or fiction?

I think the editor just told her to pass the buck. The headline should stick.

Speaking of headlines..

The thing that doesn't add up to me is they left all that other stuff that doesn't make contextual sense, but changed the better original headline (and not just because it was mine).

Its just still doesn't sound right.

misunderstanding, yeah right

It ain't just newspapers, kiddies. I let "official" tourism sites in my region have my sites' leads at no charge. On an annual basis, an average town or county uses about 3000-4000 leads out of the feed. (These aren't just any ol' lead, either, we ask about 40 questions --basically everything but their credit card number. So market rate is, well, let's just say more than a dollar each.) All I asked was that my sites be credited with generating the lead on any report made to their respective city or county boards, commissioners, or newspapers. Time and time again, I found they were purposely violating that requirement. Reason? To make it appear to their bosses that THEIR sites were generating the leads.

Email to your editor?

Quote:
I think we can repair our relationship. An excellent blog, by Claire Zulkey, was sent to me in a daily email newsletter from Media Bistro. I forwarded it to my boss at the Telegraph’s website because I thought he would find it funny. Unfortunately somewhere along the line it was mistaken for my latest posting and published. It was not my latest posting. It has now been taken down from the Telegraph's website as a result.

(http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/society/melissawhitworth/aug06/misunderstanding.htm)

Is that how dinosaur companies really write blogs? Email to the editor, who then copies & pastes it into a form on the website and clicks the submit button?

Either:
1) Lying
2) Lame

Which is worse? :)

I just find it a bit hard to belive that is how inefficient a multi-million pound/dollar company realistically operates, that's all. Surely a more efficient approach would be to have the journalist write the article on the site, and have it automatically queued for approval, where a small trusted group of reviewer employees could quickly read the article, and click and "approve" or "reject" button (kind of like an internal company digg). That way it doesnt all need to go through one person, and no copy/pasting needs to take place. - You can keep your costs even lower if you use work-at-home part-time journalists as reviewers, with mass broadband availability there is no reason for them to have to be in the office 5-7 days a week.

(or, better yet: learn to trust your employees, and let them just publish their own stuff, especially when it's a blog in their own name).

Believe it.

I choose option 2. Lame.

The expanation is not as hard to believe as it seems. It is simply shocking how backwards old school newspapers still are. While some are actually catching up with the times, many just look like they are. They have things that look like blogs but the information gets up there in a very old school manner. They are generally formated and published by an editorial assistant or intern making minimum wage. Frankly, I think the most believable part of the story is that the headline changed. Journalists never get to come up with their own headlines. The headline is always added or changed by someone else (even if the new one is worse).

It is true that there are many ways for blog publishing technology to add efficiency and reduce costs, but big newspaper companies will never trust journalists to publish themselves, (and frankly journalists don't want to learn how to "publish" anyway! That's not their job.) The ironic part is that, they will tell you they need to keep their old process because it improves the accuracy of stories.

Journalists love irony.

Copy editors do change headlines

That's true, because journalists write such lame ones. In this case it went the other way.

It may well be that Melissa cut and pasted the original story into an email and gave it her own subject line, rather than just forwarding the original email or sending a link.

Which increases the lameness quotient by a factor of 10, but makes the story even more believable.

The blogosphere should stay on this

I find her story less than persuasive, and I think Copyblogger and the others ought to stay on it. Some things I would want to know:

1) Where's the email? I'd like to see a time stamped version from her sent file and one from the editor's inbox so I can see if there ever really was an email.

2) How long was the story up? Did she get it pulled as soon as she saw it, or only after copyblogger started blogging about it? If it came down in fifteen minutes, maybe she's telling the truth; if it sat up there for two days and only came down after the blogosphere noticed, that's altogether different.

The main thing arguing for innocent mistake is that no one could be stupid enough to have stolen it deliberately. Except maybe for a society section writer for a total rag.

She apologized..

You know guys / girls.. let it drop.. it's plastered across the top of the telegraph's blog that they messed up..

It's better than them trying to defend it...

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