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That kangaroo stole my story!

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by kingcreole, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. kingcreole

    kingcreole Active Member

    I think he did.

    OK, I'm going out of town this weekend for a junior college football game. I was on the local paper's web site curious to see if they had been writing anything about the game. I saw they had a story about the scrimmage for the college I cover. Strange I thought, so I opened it. Same lede I had. Second graf was tweaked but again, same gist. Rest of the story costs money.

    I called the SID for the school I cover and asked if he sent out a release on the scrimmage because I didn't recall seeing one. Said he didn't and was sending out his season preview to the media today. Asked the coach of the football team I cover if he had spoken with anyone from the other paper. Said he hadn't.

    There was a local byline on the story. I'm more than curious to know if they yanked my story or not and if they gave me any sort of credit whatsoever. Worth getting into or not?
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

  3. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    Relax, it's good luck ... in Haiti.
  4. kingcreole

    kingcreole Active Member

    So should I pay to become a subscriber, call their paper and ask about it or what?
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I would not pay. I would email the editor (or sports editor). Paste your story and the top of what you see on the web and say that this was your story and you noticed this on the website and it seemed familiar.

    I would say that you can't access the rest of the story without paying but you can't help but think your work was used and you would like the editor to look into it.
  6. Oggiedoggie

    Oggiedoggie Well-Known Member

    If they're charging folks to read a story that's the property of your paper, it sounds like it's the job of your paper's attorney to take a look into it. You probably shouldn't waste time or money.
  7. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Yeah. Alerting your boss is probably the best move. Let them deal with it.
  8. golfnut8924

    golfnut8924 Guest

    Definitely worth getting into. I had a similar thing happen to me when a weekly paper was just re-writing my game stories from the daily paper throughout the week and printing them. Thing was, they weren't doing a very good job of re-writing. There were full paragraphs that were verbatim and were even using the quotes. Worst thing was, they were putting their own bylines on them.

    I brought copies of my stories along with copies of theirs to my publisher and he put a stop to it real quick. I don't know how exactly he handled it, but threatening them with a lawsuit is probably the most effective way.

    And it's worth noting that the "reporters" from the weekly paper starting showing up to the games thereafter to cover them; something they hadn't done before when they could just sit back and let me do all the work.

    It's plagiarism and don't just sit back and let them get away with it. It's journalistic integrity and needs to be defended in this business. Besides, it's also illegal.
  9. Show your clip and the top of their Web story to your boss. Let him handle it. That's what they're paid to do. Editor at the other place is more likely to blow you off, but not your boss.

    And golfnut's right. Plagiarism and journalism integrity are a big deal. Especially galling is that they're charging their subscribers to see your story.
  10. kingcreole

    kingcreole Active Member

    Well, we got the cheapest online subscription and I checked into it. Sure enough, it was plagiarism at its best. Not word for word, but the exact ideas still. I guess the MEs talked. Not sure what the outcome will be.
  11. I know! Content sharing! :D
  12. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    aggregating - the new journalism
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