Slate magazine journalist gets a tip that one of his pieces has been plagiarised. It turns out that it’s not just one piece, and it’s not just him.

with the exception of the local events listings, every single item in the June 3-July 10 Bulletin is suspicious. Indeed, I wonder: In purely statistical terms, do the articles in the Montgomery County Bulletin amount to the greatest plagiarism scandal in the annals of American journalism?

The publisher and writer respond via the Houston Press.

It must have taken years of seasoned investigative know-how to push me off my lofty perch. It takes a dogged, intrepid journalist to expose the alleged wrongdoings of a 44-year-old college dropout who drifted from one lousy media job to another for 20 years; it takes courage to debase someone with a mouthful of cut-rate dentures who, up until 2007, lived in his parents’ home for seven years due to near-fatal bouts of clinical depression; it takes a journalist of a certain caliber to torpedo a pathetic hack who has barely squeezed out a living for nearly a decade at seven cents a word.

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0 responses to “Frankenwriting”

  1. You can make a minor hobby out of spotting plagarism on the Evening Times’ web site, noting it in the article comments, and checking how long it takes for them to delete your comment. They are the most incompetent, dopey team of pretend journalism hacks in the UK, but when it comes to keeping up the pretense they can act in seconds.

  2. I read that Slate piece and figured that these Bulletin guys were just a bunch of lazy chancers putting together a crappy rag to try and make money from advertisers. Seems I was right.

    Plagiarism sucks, especially when you try and make money from it. I’ve not got a lot of sympathy for them.

  3. Gary

    Rutty, just being Devil’s advocate: if plagiarism is wrong, is running a torrent site wrong? The editor didn’t appear to know that his writer was nicking things, but was selling ads on the back of nicked content… pretty much what torrent sites do.

    @heather: I don’t last long enough on the ET site to spot anything like that. Too busy despairing about humanity.

  4. I’m not a fan of copyright-infringement via torrents either, so let’s just say that I would prefer that publishers of content earn advertising revenue in an “honest” fashion.