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Fake bylines

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Alma, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Journatic and Tribune Co.


    Pretty disgusting. Not surprised, though, mind you. Outsourcing journalism to foreign countries seems particularly brazen, but it's not illegal. Whatever to make a buck. Nothing's more important than a buck.
  2. KJIM

    KJIM Well-Known Member

    I've used a fake byline. And yes, I did it to make a buck. I can't point fingers.
  3. J-School Blue

    J-School Blue Member

    I heard the piece on NPR about this lovely practice this afternoon.

    I don't so much knock the (outsourced, paid-pennies-on-dollar) writers doing it, but if outfits like the Chicago Tribune are running stories with fake bylines on them, that raises a lot of questions about the accountability of major papers for what they're putting out. I realize these are mainly real estate and death briefs, but if it starts there and makes a profit, you know it's going to lead to other types of editorial.

    Mostly I wonder if this is what the future of journalism looks like, which I don't think says anything good about where we're headed.
  4. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    So, did I miss the purpose of the fake bylines? Is it to cover the fact they are outsourcing the work, or something more sinister (RAYCIST!)? What was the point?
  5. KYSportsWriter

    KYSportsWriter Well-Known Member

    The link above didn't really clear any of that up ...
  6. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    My assumption was that they didn't want the section littered with a bunch of Filipino names and have readers wondering why. But I have no idea.
  7. Abe Vigoda

    Abe Vigoda Member

    Why would anybody pretend to be someone they're not?
  8. J-School Blue

    J-School Blue Member

    Journatic didn't offer much explanation in the "This American Life" piece. It seemed like it was driven by the same idea that encourages workers in Indian call centers to use English names and accents. So it won't be entirely obvious you're reading work that's been done through outsourcing at a content farm.

    Apparently the writers selected a computerized "pick alias" option after they were done with their story, that plugged in names ranging from Glenda Smith to Jimmy Finkle. Very strange.
  9. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    This was what I figured made the most sense.
  10. britwrit

    britwrit Well-Known Member

  11. Oggiedoggie

    Oggiedoggie Well-Known Member

    I heard the "This American Life" episode and tried to explain the story to my wife.

    She said that I must not have heard it correctly.
  12. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    I really think we as journalists overrate bylines.

    Who *cares* what name is on it?
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