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Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Bloggers, have you ever seen something you've posted on your blog, copied and pasted in a publication with no credit for the source –eg. you– given?

Readers, have you ever read an article in a newspaper and got the feeling you've read the exact same story somewhere else, perhaps even word-for-word?

Journalists, have you ever been sent blurb from PRs and felt pressured to report it as "news"?

I've just discovered The Churner Prize (via my Twitter followers list) and, whilst relatively new, this blog has still had me giggling due to its sharp, snarky, swipes at the lazy journalism it mocks. The journos writing it expertly highlight the unoriginal recycling of content and the frequent lack of sources –not to mention attribution– given by those who churn out articles; and it gives those of us who've been bitten on the arse by the media, another outlet in which to moan.

Course, I've got my own personal gripes about particular elements of the press: In August 2006, after rejecting money from the Daily Mail to give them an 'exclusive' (fascist past, anyone?),
I did my first ever face-to-face interview with the Guardian (for free). So when I discovered that the Daily Mail reprinted my Guardian interview as their own (with photographs) and then from that, quoted me entirely out of context to fit the angle on the story they decided to run, I was absolutely gobsmacked. Journalism? Hardly.

If I'd been more together at the time (ie. not been hiding from the Daily Mail's photographers), I would have written about how they'd misrepresented me. And if it had happened now, I would certainly submit the article as an outstanding piece of Churnalism. The Churner Prize makes for some fun (albeit slightly depressing) reading; I'm looking forward to seeing how the blog develops.

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