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I was plagiarized. Or was I?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by enigami, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. enigami

    enigami Member

    So one of those "fan blogger" types stumbles upon my latest NHL training camp notebook on the Web (he's obviously a puckhead) and proudly introduces himself in an e-mail with a link to his blog. He could have used the other major daily's notebook for his Monday entry, he explains, but he wanted to personally inform me that he chose mine (and wants to start talking about checking line combos, etc).

    This is all well and good, I figure, until I visit the link and find my notebook in its semi-entirety. The quotes are the ones I got, the sentences my original verbiage, except for a few entire paragraphs that he wrote and inserted on his own. There's no citations of who got the quotes, no distinguishing his paragraphs from mine -- until you reach the link to my original article at the bottom of his blog entry. It's just a link, nothing more. Evidently he thinks this covers his tail, probably as much as the blatant pen name he's using.

    In my reply e-mail, I firmly but politely explain that this isn't how it's done. I figured the guy simply doesn't know what he's doing. He replies, minus the sophomoric charm of his first email, that he's changed his blog to reflect the citations I asked for, but he won't be reading my blog again. What's more, he has done the same thing to "dozens of reporters" before, and I'm the first to "complain."

    The way this transpired doesn't bug me; I'd do the same thing all over again if I'm the only person ever to teach him proper journalistic etiquette. What bugs me is that even one trained reporter would let the same thing slide without mention. Are we really so desperate for business that we'll let Anonymous Fan Blogger push the boundaries of plagiarism in exchange for a link in his blog? Or do I really have a stick up my ass about this?
  2. sportsguydave

    sportsguydave Active Member

    You were plagiarized. Good for you for calling out the assclown.

    And we're supposed to believe that the "citizen journalist" movement is a good thing. Good Grief!!
  3. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    There's a guy in my neck of the woods who writes for a thoroughly torn-apart Web site on here that pays pennies per click who has decided that anything said at a press conference is public knowledge.

    Which is fine, really ... if you're there.

    I've informed this individual that if he's going to do the (piss-poor) writing, he might as well want to show up and not just cherry-pick his quotes.

    I know lawyers are typically too busy with this kind of stuff, but I guarantee the newspaper's lawyer sending a quick cease-and-desist letter would end that real fast.
  4. albert77

    albert77 Well-Known Member

    I'm going to play devil's advocate and ask what may be a silly question. Most D-1 universities post the transcript of press conferences, postgame and the Monday review session, on their websites. So, what is preventing Joe Fanboy from writing stories on a blog using quotes from those transcripts, and how is that different from a writer at a newspaper who can't get to the Monday presser from crafting a story using similar quotes, assuming the writer and the blogger correctly attribute the quotes to the website?
  5. TheMethod

    TheMethod Member

    It's not different. It also is another good reason reporters should seek to do as much of their reporting as possible from outside the press conference.
  6. Also, some universities have been known to sanitize those comments. Unfortunately, many of these bastions of higher education have completely closed off access to their student-athletes other than at these weekly meat markets or at postgame gatherings. And if you're not allowed in the locker room, you get the players they trot out into the interview room, not necessarily who you want.

    That's why I prefer the pro leagues. Access is spelled out in black and white, pregame and postgame, and it's universal. Maybe somebody won't talk to the media, but he's not talking to anybody else, either, not just you.
  7. golfnut8924

    golfnut8924 Guest

    Wow I'm shocked to hear that someone was plagiarized by a fanboy blogger. Anyone who has seen some of my posts on this site knows that I hate these guys with a vengeance. Good job on calling him on it and do it again and again every time it happens. These assholes need to be stopped because they are helping destroy our business with their "no-journalism-rules-or-guidelines-or-etiquette" style.
  8. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    It is.

    This is why, as someone else mentioned, reporters should strive to get unique material, away from the podium, when possible.
  9. Karl Hungus

    Karl Hungus Member

    I'm a PxP guy for my school, and it is helpful in a pinch, if I have to get sound from a press conference. But it's never the same as actually doing the interviewing and reporting on your own time.
  10. lantaur

    lantaur Well-Known Member

    You did the right thing for sure, but let's not get all high and mighty: Unfortunately, plenty of "legitimate" writers have plagiarized work (there's a thread here somewhere how two authors ripped a lot of stuff from my book) and there are plenty of bloggers who are good at what they do and understand citations and/or links. Enough with the stereotypes.

    But, I do applaud you for what you did. Well done, sir.
  11. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    Exactly, lantaur.

    I got ripped off a few years ago by a New York Times writer-turned-author. It cost him $2,000, which I split with my lawyer.
  12. jfs1000

    jfs1000 Member

    If it happens a presser, and is widely available, then I don't think he has to source who was at the presser. It's bush league, but it was a presser. Whether he was there or not is besides the point. the comments are public and not the property of the journalist.

    That sucks, but in college football the press conference is all you get sometimes. I can't stand it and it happens more than you guys think. This should be a lesson in trying to corner the coach after. I am sick of doing research on a story, thinking about the issue clearly, and then letting the cat of the bag at the presser. Then, everyone has it...awful.
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