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Stealing quotes

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by kingcreole, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. kingcreole

    kingcreole Active Member

    I believe this happened to me today. I saw a quote in a story I did in another paper. I was the only writer at the game, and since the quote I used was verbatim and I know the coach would not have talked to this other paper, I know it was lifted from my story.

    Anything I should do? Let it roll off my back? Contact the other paper? What?
  2. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    No credit at all? Nothing?
  3. kingcreole

    kingcreole Active Member

    No. Not in the online edition any way. We get the other paper a day late, so I'm at least waiting until I see the actual newspaper to do anything at all. But I highly doubt there was any credit, since there was none online.
  4. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    My guess is you are right.
    Check and make sure. Then have your manager contact their manager. Right away.
  5. kingcreole

    kingcreole Active Member

    I guess my concern is is this plagiarism? The quote was not my original thought, obviously. It's the coach's.
  6. TheHacker

    TheHacker Member

    Happens all the freakin' time. Shouldn't, but it does. I once had a guy from a larger paper steal quotes and information I had previously reported with no mention they came from my paper. And somehow, in the process of lifting quotes wholesale, he managed to get the person's name wrong. Moral of the story is, if you're going to steal, at least take the time to copy the stuff correctly.
  7. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Not outright plagiarism but still quite wrong. If you did not get the quote, if you lifted from another source, you MUST attribute. You MUST. It is fine for you to take it but you MUST attribute.

    "Yada Yada," coach so and so told The Daily Planet.

    It ain't that hard.

    If it is the first offense, I don't think the guy should get canned. But he should be warned and maybe suspended. Somebody was suspended for this not that long ago but the details escape me.
  8. Trey Beamon

    Trey Beamon Active Member

    What about factual information (stats, etc)?

    I'm at a weekly and often take stuff -- never bylined work/quotes, however -- from the local daily. We're owned by the same company, yet for whatever reason, don't share stories/information.
  9. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    What are the general rules on this for AP stories? A lot of times they'll move a story with a basic AP slug that includes a quote along the lines of, "Joe Quarterback shouldn't have punched that guy in the throat," Coach Johnson told the Daily Planet of Metropolis.
    Here at the Podunk Press, we'll sometimes edit that down to "Coach Johnson said." during the cutting process.
    If it still has an AP slug on it, is that OK?
  10. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    I'd be real careful there. If AP felt the attribution ought to be there, you probably ought to leave it there. "Second degree" lifting is still lifting.

    And the problem with stats - suppose they are wrong?

    We had a radio guy here in town for a while, used to do an early morning report. He read our paper on the air, basically. Denied it but that's what he was doing.
    So one day I'm driving in and I hear him say something and it is flat-out wrong. I check, sure enough, we were flat-out wrong on the same fact.
    At least it ended his charade.

    It doesn't make you a bad journalist to attribute. Just do it.
  11. kingcreole

    kingcreole Active Member

    I agree with Moddy about just attribute, baby. I think if/when I see the regular paper and there's no attribution, a phone call will be made. It's a courtesy thing. If they wanted a quote, I wasn't going to say "No."
  12. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    I've got a related question. A local story here is getting a little bit of national attention and I've seen national columnists using the quotes from the press conference. These guys weren't there and the quote was printed in about 10 different publications, but they are just using the quote without saying how they got it. Should they be giving anyone credit? If so, who?
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