Journalistic Superiority at Work

Journalistic Superiority at Work

Reader Comments (68)

  1. No, we should certainly NOT let plagiarism pass, which is exactly what this is. And I’d love to see Claire sue the bastards.

    But unless I missed it, there’s no copyright or CC bug anywhere on Claire’s site. Without a copyright notice, is there a legitimate legal case?

    It’s sure a good argument for a copyright notice on EVERY page.

  2. It does make you wonder, doesn’t it, Brian, just how long this might have been happening before blogs and link technology? If it happens so naturally, then it must be something that some folks do without thinking . . . as if it is part of the culture.

    I wish I could email our friend Trevor.

  3. Oddly enough, I’m not shocked. I just hope that the newspaper has the good sense to back down from this one. I recall a case recently where a newspaper plagiarized from the Associated Press plagiarized from a blog and brushed it off by saying “We don’t credit blogs”. They eventually backed off from that.

    However, you can read the old information here:

    It’s a wonderful but also a very scary time to be a writer. I hope that I can help change the scary part…

  4. Alien, copyright exists upon creation. All they would have to do is register the copyright before filing suit.

    Liz, I was just thinking of Trevor. Is there no way to get his attention? And isn’t the Financial Times the only other broadsheet newspaper left in the UK?

    Jonathan, they would be insane to do anything other than fire this chick and apologize.

  5. I left her the following comment (she didn’t have any others posted yet):

    “In the blog heading, it says you are in New York & live in Greenwich Village, but the 1st sentence of the post says that you’re sitting in your apartment in Chicago. Which is it? I’m confused (or, was that the point?).”

  6. caught red-handed, and more than sue the bastards (I’d expect this “journalist” to be shown the door, nothing less) in the court of public opinion The Daily Telegraph is tarnished.

  7. John M. — I didn’t see your comment, and when I tried to leave one of my own, I notice it didn’t appear to have gone through. If the Telegraph is deliberately disabling the comment feature to avoid negative feedback, I think that’s as much of a story about how to do things wrong online as Melissa’s plagiarism.

  8. “I find this quite incredible. Does Ms. Whitworth not realize that we notice things like this ? ”

    No, she and hundreds of thousands of others in her position and age bracket ( over 18 ) have no idea that we can track IP’s, follow an email trail, check whole blocks of content for plagarism in seconds and do the other things we do to see where taffic and pings come from.

    I found this out recently as I began teaching the employees of a corporation to blog.

    Most of these college educated, professional people are absolutely clueless.

  9. This isn’t the first time. I am sure a lot of newspapers are copy pasting content online without the permission of the authors.

    And many a times it is with a headline change and posted as own content!

    While RSS Scrapers can be really annoying, a newspaper doing it simply takes the cake!

  10. These comments aren’t entirely relevant to the story but..

    1. At least it wasn’t a good newspaper involved here. The Daily Telegraph is far from the pinnacle of British journalism (although it’s still better than the Daily Mail).

    2. These blogs are generally backwaters for the newspaper columnists to put out their worst content that doesn’t make it into the paper.. so I doubt this post made it into the paper.

  11. Hmm, does this mean anything? 🙂

    “Telegraph Logo

    Page Not Found

    “We’re sorry, but we were unable to find the page you requested.

    “We have recently migrated some content over from an old blogging engine, so it’s possible that we haven’t migrated the item you were looking for.”



  12. Brian, I think she should go after the paper. How else will we potty train them to be “professional”? I have a buddy over at that is suing someone for impresonating him online. It’s a pain, but necessary.


  13. Awesome post, bucktown – I knew that magazines and papers used airbrushing, but never thought it was for reasons like that.

    Note: if you go to the link to the USA Today site, they’ve changed the image back to the original one… how insane is that?

    It’s crazy… and like someone up there said, it’s an exciting yet scary time to be a writer these days… people just don’t understand that a blog is just like a hardcover book in terms of copyright. It just gets published faster and the pages don’t get wet even if you spill your hot chocolate.

  14. Really quite astonishing. The Times, of course, knows better than this. It will be interesting to hear an explanation.

  15. Yes, the one thing that still puzzles me is the changed headline. If someone actually thought the email was Melissa’s work, why change the (better) existing headline to the lame one they ran?

    Blogging and Cucumbers? Please.

  16. David: I agree, if she would have had any integrity, she would have posted somewhere else besides her own blog (like this thread).

    One of the unspoken rules with blogging (that I’ve observered) is to apologize where the conversation is happening.

    It’s not like she doesn’t know this conversation is happening, I’m sure enough people posted comments on her article (like me) about this. Hell, she isn’t even allowing comments to show up on her own post, they’re still filtering them.

  17. I take part of that back, she is allowing comments through on the apology post. It was the original post that comments weren’t allowed through.

  18. I’m not convinced that it matters why the original post was plagiarized. It shouldn’t have been possible for that to happen in the first place.

  19. Quad, I literally laughed out loud when I saw your comment. How silly of me to alienate an attractive woman.

    Oh wait, I’m married.

    Honey, I scored points, right? 🙂

  20. Brian, if she doesn’t write about blogs, why does she have “blogging” as a tag, with a story placed there?

    Check out her blog roll! I don’t trust her just for that. The “terrible mistake” is someone caught her.


  21. I believe Melissa’s story, but why on earth would you separate the “post” button from the poster herself?

    If you have that much distrust in your employees, you may as well save the hassle (and the money) and fire them already.

  22. I guess we gotta take her word for it, but it still smells dodgy to me.

    I’d love to see the Media Bistro email newsletter she forwarded onto her editor because that would show us exactly what the editor saw – headline, byline, text and I’m assuming a Media Bistro plug of some sort.

    In other words: the editor should have known!

    Bloggers all too often get slapped down by mainstream media as lacking writing, research and fact checking skills.

    Well this doesn’t instill much confidence in me in old media.

    Sloppy editorial work at best, caught red-handed now covering up at worst. I guess we’ll never know.

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