Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Press Release Plagiarism: Byline Steve Reilly

The news is on a state Web site, and it doesn't carry the byline of Charlotte Sun writer Steve Reilly. That means Reilly didn't write it. So far, so good.

The news also appears on page 3 of this morning's Venice Gondolier -- with Reilly's byline. Not so good. OK, Reilly seems to have written part of it -- about half, by eyeball estimate.

Yes, dumping another writer's work into the middle of one's own is OK -- if accompanied by credit and quotation marks. Reilly eschews both.

In addition to plagiarizing wording and the order of ideas from the state's web site, Reilly copies the officials' commentary -- canned quotes -- that the state placed in the news release. Reilly's tactic is designed to mislead readers into thinking he had conducted interviews and gathered expert insights into the story. Well, you can't believe everything you read in the papers.

Here is what commentators far removed from Old Word Wolf say about the practice.



  1. The tradition continues!

  2. Press releases are uncopyrighted material. It's standard practice to pull information for stories. Look up the definition for plagiarism.

  3. The definition of plagiarism includes using words written by others as if they were your own. Just because something is not in copyright doesn't make it legitimate or honest to attach your byline to it. Journalists cite their sources.

  4. Journalists attribute. Period. ROTFLMAO over the idea that Sun Coast Media Group reporters think they can add "Jane Eyre," "Moby Dick," and "Theory of the Leisure Class" to their resumes simply because these books are out of copyright.