By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Plagiarism claim in Somerville

Somerville Journal to Somerville News: You plagiarized from one of our stories.

Somerville News to Somerville Journal: No we didn’t. Have you no shame?

Details here.

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8 Comments

  1. Ron Newman

    I am unpersuaded that any plagiarism occurred here. This is not an accusation to be made lightly.

  2. D

    I like the response, which basically says “it’s not plagiarism because it’s impossible to cover these baloney community events without generating identical streams of cliches”- and how true that is, says somebody who has covered a lot of them

  3. The Arranger

    This has happened to me dozens of times (lazy rewrite of my articles, sometimes even with quotes lifted) over the years.An understaffed regional daily regularly had reporters crib from the local weekly’s coverage of suburbs. I never complained to anyone, because I’d rather have my competitors rehashing my articles rather than working to scoop me. But my staff was always eager to see which of our Wednesday publication stories were deemed the most worthy of cribbing for the daily’s Thursday and Friday editions.And, to be honest, local weeklies can’t always get someone to federal court for days on end, and take as US attorney’s press release and three daily newspaper accounts and put together a brief summary item on deadline – but usually without the nerve to take a byline.If you do it right, it’s not plagiarism, but it is *weak.*

  4. Treg

    Seems like they were cribbing, at least in terms of the general form of the article. If that’s the case, it’s technically plagiarism, although almost impossible to prove.If this kind of thing is a pattern with the Somerville News, I don’t blame Guha for speaking up (as long as her piece was based on actual reporting and not derived from a press release). And I think Norton needs to worry less about possible careless use of the term plagiarism, and more about the lameness of what transpired.

  5. Don, American

    Somerville has TWO newspapers? How many does Boston have? Curious. . . .

  6. NewsHound

    There are about eight community weekly newspapers in Boston. In total, there are about 35 newspapers including the Globe, Herald, Monitor and Phoenix. Many are targeted to specific classifications of interest – women, business, etc.

  7. Andy

    Not to mention the Banner, Courier and Dorchester Reporter.

  8. Ron Newman

    I’m unfamiliar with the Courier — where is it distributed?

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