No kidding. Last week, the Wall Street Journal — not exactly known for its photojournalism — started a photo blog that was, well, identical to what Boston.com has been doing: a blog featuring huge photos of stories in the news and off the news.
The Journal even took the same name, “The Big Picture.” If you go there now, you’ll see that it’s been changed to “Photo Journal.” But I found last week’s version in Google’s cache, and I’ve reproduced it above. And “thebigpicture” remains part of the URL.
It’s a terrific concept: huge photos, mostly from the wires, of the sort that you’re bombarded with every day, but that you probably don’t really notice because they’re too small. “The Big Picture” invites you to look. As Melanie Lidman wrote in the American Journalism Review, “What sets his blog apart is its simplicity. Taylor lets the photos speak for themselves, one at a time, encouraging the viewer to scroll slowly down the page to take in the images.”
The Journal’s act blog thievery did not go unnoticed. Check out some of the comments, which, to the Journal’s credit, have been left intact:
I think it’s sad that a major news outlet like the WSJ lacks the creativity to come up with a blog name that isn’t already in use by another newspaper.
Agreed. If you’re going to lift someone else’s concept the least you can do is come up with an original name for it.
You couldn’t even change the name slightly? How about, “The Large Picture”? A hella-wicked ripoff, I tell ya! LOL!
“The Big Picture” is a great idea, and there’s no reason other news organizations can’t copy it. But for the Journal to steal the entire concept, right down to its name, without so much as a hat tip to the Globe and no original features of its own, seems like a bit much.
At least someone read the comments and changed the name.
Update: In a bit of irony, I discovered late today that I wasn’t the first to report this. See “Credit where it’s due.”