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News story based on another news story

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by forever_town, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    This Reuters "story" on a possible plank of President-elect Barack Obama's economic stimulus package bases ALL of its reporting on a story in The New York Times. If there's even a shred of original reporting by Reuters, I sure didn't see it.

    What say ye?
     
  2. I say this happens sometimes at wire services, and it is quite rude.
     
  3. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    At my previous shop, the reporters sometimes used to write stories based on press releases (I think they'd do some original reporting, but most of it would be based on press releases). I asked both of them to stop that practice unless there was no other way to write the story.

    I can remember doing one story after a state senator switched parties from Democratic to Republican to run in a rematch against a guy who beat him in the primary. My original (pre-publication) story had quotes from four related press releases. By the time the story went to press, I'd spoken with all four of the people who sent press releases and had my own quotes. I even talked to the guy who made the switch and got his side of the story.

    To me, this piece shows extreme laziness on the part of the reporter. You see the story in The New York Times, you call the people quoted in the story and get further details and make YOUR story better than the original. And don't let yourself get scooped again.
     
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Sometimes with wire services you need to react to what is written in another publication.

    AP often has "re-writes" of stories that appear in other papers.
     
  5. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    No wonder wire copy often sucks.
     
  6. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Would they use quotes from press releases in bylined stories? I'll rewrite a press release, but would never put my name on it.
     
  7. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    I think so. All I remember is directing both of them to start doing original reporting.
     
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