A form of flattery

THEY gone done it again. A kind of cruel form of flattery, page 5 of today’s Sunday Telegraph, a showcase page, possibly the third most important page in the paper given the eyes-drawn-to-the-right rule of layout, is devoted to a story that was in the Camden New Journal two weeks ago. It’s about the actor John Alderton’s worries for basement developments in Hampstead.

As said previously in other food chain posts, we all understand the nip and tuck swapsies that go on. Every paper takes a bit and gives a bit, a story in one paper sparks an idea for a story in another. What’s rude here is that given the prominence (page 5, people) and the extent of identical quotes used here, there is no mention of the Camden New Journal or at least Dan Carrier, the CNJ reporter who went to a neverending planning meeting when the rest of us were watching television or slurping pints in a pub. He interviewed everybody involved to get the story and basically did the graft here.

Once again, we are left asking whether the following happened: The  Sunday Tel saw the CNJ, thought that’s a good story and made calls to Mr A and his neighbours themselves – somehow gathering quotes that were sentence-perfect identical, the same words exactly. Or did… you know the rest.

I might as well repeat what I said the last time The T handed over page 5 to a CNJ story:

Two things. One: a little ‘told the New Journal’ would be classier when you are stretching the one or two quote lift convention. Two: It must be a worry for us – writers and readers – that a paper with such a long history and importance in the industry can print a story like this on page 5 without making their own calls to people who aren’t hard to get hold of. If I was the editor, it’d be the least I’d expect from a day’s work.

Until the next time..

2 Comments on A form of flattery

  1. Kim Janssen // April 4, 2011 at 10:07 pm //

    You’d lose yr job for it over here in the U.S. It’s not only tacky not to give credit where it’s due, but you also leave yrself open to lawsuits/ridicule if you copy a mistake without verifying.

  2. Local Tory // April 5, 2011 at 12:11 pm //

    You should send them a bill.

    Is this the sort of thing that http://churnalism.com/ will make easier to detect?

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