Sunday Star Times Plagiarism

Last Saturday this blog published an article:

Saturday Synopsis — Likely New Ministers

Today the Sunday Star Times Neil Reid basically copies the content of this article, and mentions a source but does not attribute his work to this blog.

It identified the MPs likely to make a step up in the next National Government. They are remarkably similar to the MPs mentioned in my article.

Such a direct copy of an article without attribution is wrong but not surprising for a decidedly average newspaper (Slowly Sinking Tabloid) that is struggling to work out how to survive as more and more people get their news online.

So the following letter has been sent to the Sunday Star Times editor, David Kemeys, and a complaint will be laid with the NZ Pres Council if they do not address this to my satisfaction.

By Blog & Email
August 7th 2011

Re: Plagiarism of a Blog Post

Dear Sir,

Please refer to the following online articles:

Whaleoil Beef Hooked    Published Saturday 30th of July

Sunday Star Times           Published online Sunday 7th of August

Neil Reid plagiarises the content of my post without attributing it to me or my blog. Could you please inform me of what you intend to do about this, and what action you intend taking against Reid.

In the event you choose not to address this issue I will complain to the NZ Press Council.

Yours faithfully

Cam Slater


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  • Rob Davies

    Not sure your recent brushes with the law have blessed you with the legal bluffing skills required to play this one out successfully….

    Having read both your blog post and the Reid article there are about as many similarities as there are differences. Hardly plagiarism. Just the likely consequence of two people commenting on a topical issue.


    You both note that already well known retirements next year will provide the opportunity for Key to fiddle with his ministries. This proves both bloggers and journalists (is there a difference these days?) can read press releases. Congratulations.

    Names being mentioned around the blocs are Bridges, Adams and McClay, with Tremain and Goodhew as outside chances. This proves both bloggers and journalists can state the obvious. Again, congratulations.

    Oh, and in this case both blogger and journo predict a National-led government. This is not new or earth shattering.


    You talk about Borrows, who doesn’t even rate mention in the Reid piece. And he talks about Lockwood Smith – you don’t.

    In your post, Adams has potential for promotion because (a) she’s a woman and Key needs some in his cabinet; (b) she has masked her right-wing tendencies.

    In the Reid article, Adams has potential for promotion because (a) she’s respected by her colleagues (you actually claim the opposite); (b) she was appointed chairperson of the Finance & Expenditure Committee.

    You go on about Tremain’s business background and the number of rugby friendlies he’s played as reasons for his elevation, but Reid downplays his chances somewhat, devoting few words to his chances.

    You talk about the womanising David Bennett. Reid clearly doesn’t rate cue ball Bennett enough because his name isn’t mentioned.

    *This proves*

    I have too much time on my hands; and

    It’s possible for a blogger and journalist to share a similar position on a political talking point.

    Again, congratulations.