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Blogging can be fatal

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Del Lord, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. Del Lord

    Del Lord New Member

    Here's a cautionary tale for everyone. As newspapers look to the web as their salvation, encouraging staffers to blog and file online-only content on topics both within their purview and without, how much direction are ink stained wretches getting from management. I wonder how many veteran ISWs truly understand that the same journalistic standards apply to blogs on newpaper websites as apply to their copy in the hand-held edition. Meanwhile, we chase "news" stories that surface as unfounded rumors in fan blogs.

    Anyway, a pal heard about this termination in San Antonio and I checked it out. It is worth mentioning here as a warning to all in a time of buyouts and layoffs. Don't give 'em an excuse to cut payroll. Here is a piece from the Express-News Ombudsman blog. (If the poor sap in question had just put in a line like the preceding sentence, his 27-plus years on staff would not be over.)

    Longtime Express-News sports staffer Harry Page was terminated Wednesday after editors confirmed he had plagiarized from other primary reporting sources at least five items from his bowling blog during the month of October.

    The termination is effective immediately. Page's blog was removed from the MySA.com website Nov. 1. Page had worked in the Express-News Sports Department since April 19, 1970.

    "It's a sad day when a newsroom colleague with so many, many years working at the Express-News has to leave under such a cloud, but the only way to deal with a plagiarist is with zero tolerance and an apology to readers," Express-News Editor Robert Rivard said.
  2. 37 years, actually

    very sad but they're right ... no wiggle room on this crap
  3. Big Circus

    Big Circus Well-Known Member

    How many people have to lose their jobs before we realize that bowling coverage has gotten too big? It's eating its own, people!

    Seriously, a bowling blog?
  4. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Story says he plagiarized Lucas Wiseman. Now that's going too far.

    Not making excuses for the guy, but by literal definition a blog (or Web log) is a roundup of links to the work of others. By nature it is parasitic. I honestly don't think a lot of newspaper executives know what a blog is. They think, "Hmmmm. Blogs. The 'in' thing now. All the kids like 'em. Gotta get us some." They've become so desperate not to be left behind* that they give little thought to whether the latest fads really fit with what we do.

    Maybe he got confused when he saw The Big Lead stealing all those photos and thought anything was fair game when you do a blog.

    * The No Editor Left Behind Act.
  5. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    Harry is/was a huge bowling guy. I'm sure they just gave him the blog so he'd shut up about the lack of bowling coverage in the paper.
  6. Lucas Wiseman

    Lucas Wiseman Well-Known Member

    I'm just now hearing about this and I'm very disappointed to say the least. Harry is a good guy and deserved a better fate. We provide him (and hundreds of other writers) with press releases almost daily. The purpose of a press release is to get media outlets to either run it or write their own story based off it. What Harry did, in my opinion, was not plagiarism because he certainly had our blessing to run these stories. Now was it in violation of the policies set in place by the San Antonio paper, I don't know.
  7. Bump_Wills

    Bump_Wills Member

    Rivard wasn't nearly so doctrinaire when the culprit was former sports editor Mitch Krugel.
  8. bowling blog????!!!!!
  9. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    What happened on that one? And to that guy?
  10. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Do you mean plagiarism can be fatal?
  11. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    actually, there is wiggle room.
    read lucas wiseman's post.
    plagiarism rarely is black and white, yet it brings out the most draconian bloodthirsty reactions in normally rational compassionate people. they act like they're guardians of some absolute morality, and get all puffed up and self-righteous. the truth is that plagiarism usually is wielded as a political weapon - they were looking for some excuse to get rid of this old guy. same as ron borges.
  12. HoopsMcCann

    HoopsMcCann Active Member

    i run press releases on my blog, but make sure they're clearly labeled as such and even set them apart using the quote function
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