Could one of only two remaining daily British broadsheet newspapers be so desperate as to steal blog content?
This past Thursday Claire Zulkey of MediaBistro Toolbox did a hilarious riff on my 5 Signs Your Blog Post is Going Horribly Wrong. She essentially committed each of the five sins in a purposeful train wreck of a post that was so out there is was actually quite compelling.
Today, as I marveled that traffic was still coming in from her post, I noticed a few hits coming in from The Daily Telegraph in the UK. Now that’s something I’ll definitely go check out.
I’m shocked when I click and see that it is Claire’s post (now down, here’s the cached version at MSN), only with a different headline. Even Claire’s reference to her home town of Chicago is unchanged, though this post was ostensibly written by features contributor Melissa Whitworth, who is located at The Daily Telegraph’s New York bureau.
No attribution to Claire or Media Bistro. So I email Claire, and it suffices to say that she is not pleased to see her work republished verbatim without permission, much less attribution.
Not by an RSS scraper, but by a newspaper founded in 1855!
I find this quite incredible. Does Ms. Whitworth not realize that we notice things like this? And while the only thing connecting the two posts was a link to me, I do happen to have an audience full of other bloggers.
Or as mere bloggers, should we just allow this type of stuff to continue within the hallowed halls of journalism? I just don’t understand how so-called professional writers think they can get away with this stuff.
If the Telegraph post changes or comes down prior to a formal retraction and apology, I’ll post my screenshots for clarity.
UPDATE: Here’s Claire’s thoughts on the matter.
UPDATE 2: The Telegraph removes the offending post, but the cache lives on.
UPDATE 3: Melissa explains here. While yesterday I couldn’t imagine a plausible explanation, this sounds like it could be true. Who knew, as easy as it is, that she doesn’t even post to her own blog?
So, giving her the benefit of the doubt, I’ll go ahead and apologize as well.
Sorry Melissa, but you have to understand that it looked really bad. And how this got posted by mistake is still beyond me. It shows a breakdown in the editorial process at the Telegraph in any event.
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