Wednesday, September 29, 2010

This seems familiar ...

Had a strange experience this afternoon.  I was reading an editorial in one the national daily newspapers.  It felt strangely familiar.  Then I realised that it paraphrased a blog article I wrote yesterday on another blog.  Same observations and argument.  It didn't quite copy directly, although it wasn't far off in places.  For example, my first line:

"After three years of rapidly rising unemployment, and 22 months after the government published 'Building Ireland’s Smart Economy – A Framework for Sustainable Economic Renewal', it has finally set out a plan for job creation.".

It's second line:

'Coming as it does, after three years of rapidly rising unemployment, and 22 months after the Government published 'Building Ireland's Smart Economy -- A Framework for Sustainable Economic Renewal', the initiative is not before its time.'

The government press release didn't mention the previous report or how long since it was published; I joined the dots and worked out the length of time and I ummed and ahhed about whether to use 21 or 22 months (it was published in Dec 2008).  Nice to know that the post was worth lifting and rewriting, and I'm not too fussed about it, but is this what journalism has become, rehashing blog posts?

4 comments:

Bernadette in Australia said...

In a word, yep.

We have a TV show here called Media Watch which every week takes a look at newspapers and TV news shows and points out errors, problems etc. Every other week they report on something very similar to what you've described and show the blog post/news article or whatever side by side with the copies lines highlighted. The sad thing is no one is outraged anymore

Rob Kitchin said...

I'm not outraged myself. The staff of newspapers have been cut back, they're under tight deadlines, a lot of stuff is syndicated now, and press releases are designed to be rejigged and/or printed as is; easy to take same line with blog posts. It was just strange to read it and then it to dawn on me why I had an unsettled feeling.

Margot Kinberg said...

Rob - You make a good point. With staff cuts and straitened budgets, it's no wonder that media do this... It's a commentary on how much of a force blogging now is, for better or worse...

Kerrie said...

I came across something similar yesterday Rob. What looked like 2 separate articles (or rather, they had distinctly different authors) but they were essentially the same article, but did either of them write the original? perhaps not.