Friday, March 5, 2010

Bad language

It appears that The East Boston Times is not the only newspaper owned by the Independent Newspaper Group that cuts and pastes information from other sources into its stories without proper attribution. A front-page article in this week's issue of The Chelsea Record includes more than half of its material from a year-old press release, though the source is never cited.

The story, titled "Night-time closures have begun on Chelsea Bridge" (and, by the way, "nighttime" takes no hyphen and "bridge" should be lowercase in this instance) starts out well enough with comments from local traffic guru John Vitagliano, but the copied information begins in the eighth paragraph. Then, after the line, "The Chelsea Street Bridge was one of these projects," the rest of the piece is lifted right from a March 16, 2009 press release from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, which can be found here.

More than half of the 604-word story was not written by the newspaper's reporters, yet there is no indication that the material is the work of someone else. As I've written before, this is not a hazy area. Cutting and pasting without proper attribution is unacceptable by any and all journalistic standards. Why do ING newspapers allow it?

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