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'Borrowing' material

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by thebiglead, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. thebiglead

    thebiglead Member

    Story: SI.com writer lifts a quote attributed to a celebrity re: NBA draft from a blog post. No attribution to where the quote was had.
    Turns out the quote was pure fiction - and the blog post said so.
    SI.com writer apologies to readers ... without mentioning the blog from whence he got the material.

    Got no stake in this horse race, but we've seen this with a radio host stealing from a blog, and now a writer. Not saying 'blog theft' is going to trickle down to the newspaper world ... but who knows. If the argument is that bloggers take from newspapers all the time, most blogs i know give credit via a link or a mention or a hat tip or whatever. Surely not all do, however.

    Any thoughts?
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    My thought is that the si.com writer should be in big trouble.
  3. spaceman

    spaceman Active Member

    big lead... go ahead and post the fanhouse item on this.
  4. Chad Conant

    Chad Conant Member

    I see two problems with what the SI.com person did.

    1. It's plagiarism to lift material from someone else and not attribute it to them.
    2. No research to make sure the comment was indeed real.

    Do it at my shop, and most others, and you're probably fired.
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I count one more:

    3. Admitting it (the old "I mixed up my notes" excuse is always worth a try).
  6. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    In theory, yes.
  7. He should have attributed the quote to the blog when he thought it was real. If he had mentioned the blog in the apology and not the actual post, don't you think THAT would have appeared shady? By his shady non-attributing, he put himself in a no-win position for the apologizing.
  8. spartacus

    spartacus Member

  9. Mighty_Wingman

    Mighty_Wingman Active Member

    It just might be fair to say "I stole someone else's work and pretended it was my own, and compounded the mistake by stupidly believing satire was reality and never fact-checking anything. And just because the work I stole came from a blog doesn't make it OK."

    A link to the blog in question wouldn't hurt...if it's good enough to steal and pass off as your own, it's probably good enough to redirect your readers too.
  10. After reading the story: that's amazing!

    He not only 1) stole a quote and 2) failed to check the veracity of the quote, he 3) didn't notice that the post he stole the quote from was explicitly labeled as imaginary.
  11. Chad Conant

    Chad Conant Member

    Which is embarassingly bad journalism.
  12. Mighty_Wingman

    Mighty_Wingman Active Member

    What's surprising is it's not like Ian Thomsen is some dotcom hack...he's a respected guy. But this kind of mistake is unbelievable.
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