Bryce Johns finished up today at the Herald on Sunday as editor. In his last article he states:
We face so many barriers to what we do, particularly the armies of PR spin doctors that inhabit so many of the institutions we report about. They outnumber the journalists, and some take great pride in blocking us in our work.
But they don’t often beat us and readers seem to know that – how else do you explain the paper having the best readership and circulation results in the country over the past three years?
This is a feeling across the media…that they are there to unspin the spin…except when you can plonk your byline on a press release and claim it as your own writing.
On Saturday there was an article about the new waterproof Army Bibles….it is bylined by Kurt Bayer. It is a good article, about something interesting, but if only Kurt had written even a third of the words himself. The words highlighted in Yellow are directly lifted without editing from the Army press release, the words in Green are a rearrangement. Unhighlighted text isn’t substantially in the Army press release.
Plagiarism? You bet…I really wonder at the wisdom of putting your byline on such an obvious cut and paste job.
The original press release is here incase you don’t believe me.