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Allisonn
12-18-2015, 09:07 AM
I’d like to get others’ opinions on this. I recently came across an interview article online of which
several paragraphs were plagiarized verbatim from the interviewee’s biography.
The writer of the article is a prominent BBC journalist with 35 years’ experience covering entertainment news,
interviewing major world-famous celebrities, author of a celebrity biography published by MacMillan, etc.

I am so tempted to contact the article writer and let her know I know what she did! ;)
Would that be totally inappropriate of me?

Coincidentally, I personally know the author of the biography she copied from.

Thanks.

InBloom
12-18-2015, 09:24 AM
Right up front, I don't know much about etiquette in this scenario. However, I would imagine the website sponsor (assuming it's not the BBC journalist's blog) would want to know that their employee has stolen. If it is just a journalist's blog, you could get in touch with the original author and let him or her handle it. Is it possible they were in touch and the BBC journalist had permission to use the paragraphs? I just wouldn't rush into anything without knowing the whole story.

jjdebenedictis
12-18-2015, 09:43 AM
If the journalist is still working for the BBC, contact them and point out the plagiarism, because that's rank unprofessionalism. If not, contact her current employer or the website hosting the article and do the same.

It doesn't matter whether the journo had permission to use the paragraphs; to do so without attribution is still completely unprofessional. Rat her out to her employer; she's a scumbag.

Also, the author of the plagiarized material can probably get the whole article removed by filing a DMCA take-down notice (http://www.dmca.com/FAQ/What-is-a-DMCA-Takedown)with the website. It's worth doing, because if a pro with 35 years' experience did that, she's probably been doing it for 35 years. It's time she got caught out.

shizu
12-18-2015, 10:02 AM
If the biography wasn't attributed in any way and the original author hadn't given permission for their work to be used, then this definitely needs bringing to the site's attention. Was this on a BBC site? They'd take copyright issues like this very seriously if that's the case.

However, if you know the original writer then I suggest you let them know and let them handle it from there. Most sites will only act upon complaints made by the original copyright owner.

VeryBigBeard
12-18-2015, 10:21 AM
If the journalist is still working for the BBC, contact them and point out the plagiarism, because that's rank unprofessionalism. If not, contact her current employer or the website hosting the article and do the same.

It doesn't matter whether the journo had permission to use the paragraphs; to do so without attribution is still completely unprofessional. Rat her out to her employer; she's a scumbag.

Also, the author of the plagiarized material can probably get the whole article removed by filing a DMCA take-down notice (http://www.dmca.com/FAQ/What-is-a-DMCA-Takedown)with the website. It's worth doing, because if a pro with 35 years' experience did that, she's probably been doing it for 35 years. It's time she got caught out.

This this this this this.

Journalists who plagiarize usually do it chronically and it's something that needs to come out sooner rather than later because it WILL come out later, where it will be much more problematic. It's also often tied in with compulsive behaviour so the first thing I'd do is screenshot the article in question rather than DMCAing it. There's a whole re-checking and correction/take-down process a newsroom will have to go through as they investigate plagiarism anyway.

It is ABSOLUTELY CORRECT that you point this out. This is different than some blog ripping something off. The BBC has a duty to inform as a major public record. It may sometimes look like mainstream media don't take that seriously, but they absolutely do. Plagiarism is possibly the cardinal writing sin and journalists are writers we're supposed to trust with truth.

This is a large part of why this gets taken so seriously. (http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/1998/09/bissinger199809) Journalists have a terrible reputation to begin with. Plagiarists just give that reputation legitimacy. Every journalist wants to see plagiarists fired.

The original writer doesn't have to alert them. The article will probably have a response link which leads to the editorial team, but if not most newsrooms have an editorial number or email linked somewhere on the site. You might have to search for BBC Ombudsman or BBC editorial feedback or some such. It also doesn't matter if the BBC reporter is writing off-site--their ethics code will cover this sort of thing, and being off-site doesn't make it any better (it may make it worse).

Weirdmage
12-18-2015, 02:18 PM
I’d like to get others’ opinions on this. I recently came across an interview article online of which
several paragraphs were plagiarized verbatim from the interviewee’s biography.


How do you know this?
Unless you know exactly how this interview was conducted that is a statement that cannot be backed up.

Since you say this has been copied from a biography, I assume it is events from the interviewees life. In which case it could very well be that the person interviewed has told of the events in the exact same way since soon after they happened. I think we all have experienced friends telling of something and were able to know the exact wording beforehand because the story has been told so many times.
Look at actor interviews around film-releases, they are very similar.

Another thing to think about is that this interview could have been done by e-mail. In which case the person interviewed could be the one who has copied this from the biography.

Actually, the more I think about this the more I lean towards this being a coincidence. Unless the interview itself never happened, but that seems a bit unlikely from the sparse information you have given.

Allisonn
12-18-2015, 02:46 PM
I appreciate all your responses.

The article is at The Jewish Community Online, which is the online version of the Jewish Chronicle newspaper.
It's based in London. I don't think it's related to the BBC, but I don't know.

Weirdmage, you raise some interesting points.

The article implies that the interview was conducted at the interviewee's house, in person,
and the author describes the subject's gestures. But of course, I don't know this for sure. It just struck me that the number of sentences, exactly word for word, was too much to be a coincidence. I think I'll ask the subject's biographer if he thinks it's likely.

Thanks everyone for some very interesting feedback.

shaldna
12-18-2015, 03:14 PM
Is there any way to tell that the writer didn't have permission to use the passages? Just because they aren't accredited in the text doesn't mean they didn't have permission.

VeryBigBeard
12-18-2015, 09:58 PM
If they had permission, that should have been stated in the article.

And while the interviews should be conducted in person or on the phone, I can see Weirdmage's point. If they are, as you say, word for word I still think pointing them out via the editorial feedback is the best thing. That gives the editors space to investigate, which is their job.

It's not your job to say, "this is plagiarism." As a reader, you just have to say, "this looks too similar." A story shouldn't be triggering a genuine reaction like that in any reader, and if it is, editorial should know about it because it is at the very least shoddy writing.

cornflake
12-18-2015, 10:20 PM
Define word-for-word though. "Bob attended the Wheaties school of milk flotation before enrolling in the Rangers,' might be word-for-word, but could easily come from someone saying, 'I attended...' That'd be, as the flower noted above, not plagiarism, but someone saying the same stuff.

gettingby
12-19-2015, 01:03 AM
If the person being interviewed is quoted saying what is on his or her website, I don't think that's the report's fault. I know a lot of places actually send the interview back to the person being interviewed before it is published. Not always, but sometimes. And if that happened, the person being interviewed might have added things from their website. I just wouldn't be so quick to call this plagiarism.

cornflake
12-19-2015, 01:26 AM
If the person being interviewed is quoted saying what is on his or her website, I don't think that's the report's fault. I know a lot of places actually send the interview back to the person being interviewed before it is published. Not always, but sometimes. And if that happened, the person being interviewed might have added things from their website. I just wouldn't be so quick to call this plagiarism.

I think this is an actual article though, not a pr thing.

VeryBigBeard
12-19-2015, 01:34 AM
If the person being interviewed is quoted saying what is on his or her website, I don't think that's the report's fault. I know a lot of places actually send the interview back to the person being interviewed before it is published. Not always, but sometimes. And if that happened, the person being interviewed might have added things from their website. I just wouldn't be so quick to call this plagiarism.

Not to say this doesn't happen, though it shouldn't even in PR. If it happened to the BBC, and the reporter let it, that reporter would likely be fired for that alone. The source would also very likely be blacklisted if he or she made changes, though I would hope the story's editor would see that first and kill it.

Even showing the article to a source before it's published contravenes most ethics codes. Exceptions are sometimes made for direct spoken quotes to check transcription, or in extreme cases (say you were doing a story on a sexual assault, and the source understandably has some fears about going public--there might be a gentle negotiation at that point about what the source can see before publication). Even then, changing a quote afterwards is right out. ETA: And this process is done with a whole team of editors so there's no chance of abuse.

I do wonder a bit about how much of this is copied. There's a difference between similar phrases and plagiarism. I don't think it's the reader's job to notice that, though, and if they do notice something that seems too similar, even a reader with no interest in the story should absolutely feel allowed to bring that to an editor's attention. That's actually how the process is supposed to work.

Again, as sleazy a reputation as the mainstream media get and to some extent deserve, most major publications of record take ethics extremely seriously. The BBC, being publicly-funded, even more so.

cornflake
12-19-2015, 01:39 AM
I think the reporter works for the BBC but did this for a separate newspaper. Still, it's like, a newspaper, and I know of none that would let someone show the source the article or would, even more crazily, let the person make changes. That's PR, and, as you say, not top-flight PR god knows, but it's not journalism. Agree even for another paper a reporter wouldn't do that.

VeryBigBeard
12-19-2015, 01:52 AM
BBC will have some kind of thing that holds their reporters to a certain standard when they freelance for other publications. I have no idea what form that would take, but if the reporter is still at the BBC and actually employed by them, it will apply. Things get tricky if it's he's technically a BBC freelancer but in general the same standard holds, an certainly the same process applies as a reader who notices something too similar. It has to or else nobody has any reason to trust anything the guy writes.

Sadly, I can believe a niche newspaper wouldn't have--or wouldn't enforce--its ethics code. I still think it's unlikely any veteran reporter showed the quotes to anyone. Most reporters I know have a, shall we say, visceral reaction against doing that.

OP, there's no harm that can come from sending a polite query to editorial saying you've seen this article and such and such a passage reads like this passage from such and such a book. Provide the example. They'll take it from there. Worst case you don't hear anything back.

Allisonn
12-19-2015, 03:24 AM
Thanks again for all your suggestions. :)

gettingby
12-21-2015, 01:44 AM
I think this is an actual article though, not a pr thing.

I never said anything about PR. An interview is different than an article. I'm not saying this was the right thing to do, but I am saying it might not be the fault of the person conducting the interview. I certainly wouldn't start calling this writer out on plagiarism for something he might not have been aware of. And if the interviewee wants to quote himself from his own website, well, I wouldn't do it, but I don't see plagiarism here.

gettingby
12-21-2015, 02:05 AM
Not to say this doesn't happen, though it shouldn't even in PR. If it happened to the BBC, and the reporter let it, that reporter would likely be fired for that alone. The source would also very likely be blacklisted if he or she made changes, though I would hope the story's editor would see that first and kill it.

Even showing the article to a source before it's published contravenes most ethics codes. Exceptions are sometimes made for direct spoken quotes to check transcription, or in extreme cases (say you were doing a story on a sexual assault, and the source understandably has some fears about going public--there might be a gentle negotiation at that point about what the source can see before publication). Even then, changing a quote afterwards is right out. ETA: And this process is done with a whole team of editors so there's no chance of abuse.

I do wonder a bit about how much of this is copied. There's a difference between similar phrases and plagiarism. I don't think it's the reader's job to notice that, though, and if they do notice something that seems too similar, even a reader with no interest in the story should absolutely feel allowed to bring that to an editor's attention. That's actually how the process is supposed to work.

Again, as sleazy a reputation as the mainstream media get and to some extent deserve, most major publications of record take ethics extremely seriously. The BBC, being publicly-funded, even more so.

No one is going to get blacklisted for this. Unless I'm missing something, the interviewee answered some of the questions by quoting himself from his own website. He used his own material from his website to answer the questions. That's what is going on here, right?

I spent much of my life as a journalist, and while it's true you are not supposed to share an article with a source before a story is published, an interview is a little different. I now work for a literary journal where the interviews are offend trimmed and shaped a little and then sent back to the author for him or her to approve any changes made. There is nothing wrong with that.

Even with straight news stories, a reporter can read quotes back to a source or send them by email. Not that those should be changed at all, but I have shared with someone what I was going to quote someone saying before a story ran. And all my editors were aware of this. Sometimes the person wants to explain something a little more which can actually help a story. This is rare, but editors will sometimes suggest a reporter do this or offer to do this. It's not the same as showing the whole article. But that's a little off topic.

It's just that plagiarism is a very serious thing to accuse someone of, and we don't know the whole story behind this situation. If the reporter had noticed that the author being interviewed was quoting himself from his own website, yes, she should have said something to this guy and hopefully gotten some fresh answers.

VeryBigBeard
12-21-2015, 07:37 AM
I don't know a single journalist who treats ethics with a cavalier attitude. The couple I do know who treat it that way are no longer journalists.

Readers care. Editors tend to follow readers. While I admit entertainment reporting frequently skirts the edges of ethics, this is the kind of risk those reporters take. If a source plagiarizes an email response to an interview question, the reporter has failed public trust. Why should I believe a thing that reporter puts in print?

Very, very simple way to avoid this:

1. Don't do email interviews.

1b. When you absolutely have to do an email interview, inform your readers it's been done by email, and check the text--not just for plagiarism but also for those sources who are reciting memo points in email.

Most ethics codes set those two steps down as basic rules. Here's the BBC's (http://www.bbc.co.uk/editorialguidelines/guidelines/accuracy/gathering-material) (from a quick search: I haven't read the whole code, nor am I going to now):


3.4.3

There are separate considerations for user generated content. We should not automatically assume that the material is accurate and should take reasonable steps, depending on how it is to be used and if necessary to achieve due accuracy, to seek verification. We must take special care over how we use any material that we suspect has been supplied by a member of a lobby group or organisation with a vested interest in the story, rather than a disinterested bystander.

Weirdmage
12-21-2015, 05:38 PM
I think I'll first just clarify what background I based my first comment on this thread on. My dad just (mostly) retired at 67 after being a journalist since the early 1970s, I was born in the mid-1970s. I've been around journalists my whole life. I'm pretty used to how they work, and think. Things are somewhat different based on locations, my experience in this is from Norway, but everything I have seen and read tells me the basics are the same.
So, that is why I initially posted. Things didn't quite add up to what my experience told me.

My experience seems to be much the same as that of gettingby. Interviews are almost always edited, and when that is done errors, or misunderstandings can occur, interviews are routinely sent to the person interviewed for a read-through before being published.
This is especially through for face-to-face interviews. Recording such interviews has been doen for a long time, in the 1980s it used to be done by small casette recorders. If you look at news footage of famous people going from one place to another in those times you'll often see someone walking alongside them asking questions into a small casette recorder and then holding it up in front of the famous person's face. That would be a print journalist trying to get a quick interview (i.e. some quotes).
Transcribing something after the fact can lead to having to get back to clarify, maybe because setting down a coffee cup muffled the sound. Editing can also lead to things being taken out of context, and a rewrite to put that context back may be needed.
Vey rarely is something left out from an interview because of it being sent back. And people who are interviewed often is aware that they only really have a say in clearing up misunderstandings.

I'm not sure where VeryBigBeard is coming from. The excerpt from the BBC ethics code concerns user-generated content, it doesn't even mention interviews.
In an ideal world you should perhaps check everything in an e-mail interview, but as long as you are actually doing an interview (not just getting a pre-prepared FAQ list) that would likely be too time-consuming, and difficult.
Stating that an interview is done by e-mail used to be standard practice, but thinking about it it seems to become rarer to see it. I don't think that is because journalists do it less, just that it seems to have fallen out of practice to mention it. And why shold they? It's a couple of decades since it was common to say that an interview was done by phone, although it has been common practice to do that. (Journalists very rarely travel far for an interview. It would have to be a really big name to justify the expense.)

I'm not sure how someone being interviewed can plagiarise themselves either. Are you supposed to change your mother dying when you were 15 to her dying when you were 12, or your father dying instead, because you have already said it in a previous interview?
Anecdotes will inevitably be about the exact same event every time. As I said in my first post, they may be told in the exact same way too. It's not really a journalist's job to rewrite something to get the prose to be more original. And going back to the OP, we're talking about a book here. The journalist may have done a full internet search for the answers given (although that is unlikely) without them coming up.
Controversial statements will be checked though. If someone says "I snorted cocaine off X's tits at Y in August 2007", the journalist will check out if X was even there, the same with the one making the claim. (Lawyers may also look at statements like that and see if they can be printed without risk of losing a lawsuit.)

VeryBigBeard
12-21-2015, 06:41 PM
Look, all of this is incredibly situational. To keep it relevant to the OP, that's why I think the best course of action is to send along a note and let whoever deals with it take it from there. It's not the sort of situation where we're talking about a witch hunt. If a story is causing a reader to react to the smell of plagiarism, that's an issue that, if it were me, I'd want to know about.

I was a journalism student three years ago. That's my experience. I then bailed. But I know what I was taught and I know why I was taught that way. Including email interviews. Again, it's very situational--I'm in Canada, the CBC is the main employer of J-School grads and takes ethics quite seriously, and my school had a bit of a traditionalist bent (and a very strong reputation for producing some of the country's best journalists). It also focused more on hard news, but there's crossover even when it's an interview puff piece--that's not license to get stuff wrong or mislead people, and I can't think of a situation where reprinting part of a biography as if it were something said aloud in a sit-down interview would be an acceptable practice.

I've done lots of sit-downs for print, and yes transcription is involved and in one of my posts above I mentioned that clarifying transcription errors is one of the reasons quotes might be shown to a source before print. Even then I'm leery of the practice because nothing good ever comes of it. The source doesn't say, "Oh, I actually said exactly this which makes me look like a fool." They always correct interpretation and try to present themselves in a better light. Even lay sources do this, but with pro sources this is the easiest way to be manipulated. It's basic, basic media training.

Email invus are becoming way more common, yes. I can see why. I still think if you're doing an interview for an interview piece you really should sit down for it--most people talk way more engagingly than they write, and yes transcription can sometimes be an issue but this is why we have recorders. I've maybe once or twice been unsure of a word on my recorder? And if that happens, I've checked just the one sentence. Some editing of the interview is tacitly understood (there's nothing drives me up the wall faster than someone who's transcribed every "uh" and "like" into text) but if you're editing it like a book, you're doing it wrong. You can't touch the meaning or anything related to the interpretation. It's a fine line to walk.

I still think email interviews should be tagged and I appreciate when they are as a reader. It's just not the same thing, and most journos I know admit this. I follow a couple of Twitter who spend a good period of time railing at government ministers for demanding email interviews--the government wonks do this because they know with an email they can take their time responding (possibly letting a story blow over), they can edit their response to precise meaning, and they can check it off with superiors. Most email invus are completely devoid of meaning, purpose, or information. I can usually pick them out even when they're not labelled. Entertainment interviews are a bit difference, but I'd put forward that the urge to self-edit the response is pretty naturally engrained and that same emptiness makes entertainment interviews by email much, much less engaging to read.

I'm not claiming some kind of moral superiority here. I bailed on journalism, after all. And it is different everywhere. We've come a long way from what's useful to the OP, I expect, but I just wanted to point out that places like the BBC do take this kind of stuff very, very seriously. And good on them for doing so. I have no idea how the BBC actually handles it's internal affairs--I imagine that the relationship between the theoretical policy I quoted and actual practice is pretty distant and I'm sure there are internal policies about email interviews and citation that are much more specific than the broad code they make available to the public.

I do think that letting a source answer an entire Q&A by email and then having that source rip most of their answers out of their own autobiography looks really, really, really bad. It may not be as unethical as trying to steal someone else's work, but it's hugely embarrassing for the paper. Above all else, it's just shoddy work. There are enough good, young journos around--even (especially) in entertainment--to waste column inches on those too lazy to interview or check what the source sends back.

*whistles merrily on my way*

*heads off to shave*

Weirdmage
12-22-2015, 01:08 AM
Email invus are becoming way more common, yes. I can see why. I still think if you're doing an interview for an interview piece you really should sit down for it[...]
Excuse me, but who do you think should pay for the journalist doing this?
Do you think a "good journalist" should spend more money getting an interview than they will be paid for it?


I still think email interviews should be tagged and I appreciate when they are as a reader.
This I agree on, but I have seen it being done more 5-10 years ago than today. Maybe more interviews are done doing Skype now, but I doubt that because any news outlet publishing online would like to publish that, so it seems like with telephone interviews, it is something that has been quietly decided is no longer necessary.

I have no idea how the BBC actually handles it's internal affairs--I imagine that the relationship between the theoretical policy I quoted and actual practice is pretty distant and I'm sure there are internal policies about email interviews and citation that are much more specific than the broad code they make available to the public.

Again, what you quoted does not apply to interviews, but to user-generated content.
I looked further, and judging by the rest of the code I doubt checking things that are already known from the life of an interviewee is part of what the BBC demand anyone does. (I suspect it would be hard for someone to get interviewed who is known to be lying, so there would be little need for people who are well known.)

I do think that letting a source answer an entire Q&A by email and then having that source rip most of their answers out of their own autobiography looks really, really, really bad. It may not be as unethical as trying to steal someone else's work, but it's hugely embarrassing for the paper. Above all else, it's just shoddy work.
The biography would be the subject's life story. Where else would they take the answers from? Unless the biography is a lie that would be a confirmation of the answers not a proof of lack of any ethics...
It would rather be hugely embarrasing for a paper if they printed something that came out of the blue that no other source could verify. (This is also mentioned in the BBC code you linked to. -Verification is what is important.)

VeryBigBeard
12-22-2015, 01:50 AM
I think we're well round the bend now.

Ideally the publication should cover travel expenses. I've paid out of my own pocket to get to various events so I can get better quotes and access, and it's always worth it. And I only worked for campus papers, although even then we sent people on the paper's dime. Look, I don't know how interview standards have changed from three years ago when I was taught. I was taught sit down if at all possible, phone for basic stuff, email for desperation. Paying sources for interviews is right out. When I've written or edited interview pieces, which is what I read this as, they've always been either sit-down or phone interviews. It's kind of a format: I print a question, there's a chunk of text answer. The cost in that is borne by the publication. Certainly the source doesn't pay. If the interview subject is halfway around the world, I'd use a phone interview.

Skype is used often enough that every few weeks a Skype interview comes up on the CBC. It looks like crap camera-wise, but it's way better than text or phone, especially for TV.

I read user-generated content as anything that comes from a source. So if I email a set of Qs to a source and they write in their answers, that's user-generated content. I could, of course, be wrong. But any biography is a heavily edited version of someone's life. In lifting the quotes from there, it's the lack of transparency that's a problem. Readers deserve to know that this isn't candid. That's all that matters here.

Allisonn
12-22-2015, 12:39 PM
In this case, the interviewee did not have a website or email.

nighttimer
12-22-2015, 08:00 PM
To the original post, if you suspect plagiarism, you should report it to the editor of the publication where it appeared. If they have any sort of ethics at all, they will take action to address the issue.

cornflake
12-23-2015, 02:26 AM
I never said anything about PR. An interview is different than an article. I'm not saying this was the right thing to do, but I am saying it might not be the fault of the person conducting the interview. I certainly wouldn't start calling this writer out on plagiarism for something he might not have been aware of. And if the interviewee wants to quote himself from his own website, well, I wouldn't do it, but I don't see plagiarism here.

I didn't say anything about calling out anyone.


No one is going to get blacklisted for this. Unless I'm missing something, the interviewee answered some of the questions by quoting himself from his own website. He used his own material from his website to answer the questions. That's what is going on here, right?

I spent much of my life as a journalist, and while it's true you are not supposed to share an article with a source before a story is published, an interview is a little different. I now work for a literary journal where the interviews are offend trimmed and shaped a little and then sent back to the author for him or her to approve any changes made. There is nothing wrong with that.

Even with straight news stories, a reporter can read quotes back to a source or send them by email. Not that those should be changed at all, but I have shared with someone what I was going to quote someone saying before a story ran. And all my editors were aware of this. Sometimes the person wants to explain something a little more which can actually help a story. This is rare, but editors will sometimes suggest a reporter do this or offer to do this. It's not the same as showing the whole article. But that's a little off topic.

It's just that plagiarism is a very serious thing to accuse someone of, and we don't know the whole story behind this situation. If the reporter had noticed that the author being interviewed was quoting himself from his own website, yes, she should have said something to this guy and hopefully gotten some fresh answers.

A literary journal is different from a newspaper or magazine, both of which publish interviews with people, and which don't, to my knowledge, send them to those subjects to look over, because that's not how journalism works. That's why you see subjects getting angry about stuff in interview-based articles and claiming they didn't say it, or were taken out of context. It's not a rare occurrence and is usually handled by the periodical confirming the quotes exist on a recording.

As for travelling to interview someone, and the difficulty of getting interviews - yes, depending on the subject and periodical, it can be difficult. That's the job. You can end up chasing someone for ages before you get them on the phone or to sit down someplace. The periodical pays; that's how it works. They send you, they pay.

Weirdmage
12-23-2015, 04:48 AM
A literary journal is different from a newspaper or magazine, both of which publish interviews with people, and which don't, to my knowledge, send them to those subjects to look over, because that's not how journalism works.
Sending interviews for read-throughs is indeed common practice. But as I have said previously that doesn't mean the person interviewed has any editorial influence. It's just to clarify.
Venues who does not do this but print things that are taken out of context/edited to make the subject look bad may find themselves having to rely on second hand quotes in the future.

I find it interesting that this thread shows that a lot of people hold t some idealised form of journalism that only exist in fiction. And that they are so beholden to that fictionalised version of how journalists work that they not only ignore those that have experience with how journalists work in the real world, but find it necessary to argue against that.

cornflake
12-23-2015, 08:18 AM
Sending interviews for read-throughs is indeed common practice. But as I have said previously that doesn't mean the person interviewed has any editorial influence. It's just to clarify.
Venues who does not do this but print things that are taken out of context/edited to make the subject look bad may find themselves having to rely on second hand quotes in the future.

I find it interesting that this thread shows that a lot of people hold t some idealised form of journalism that only exist in fiction. And that they are so beholden to that fictionalised version of how journalists work that they not only ignore those that have experience with how journalists work in the real world, but find it necessary to argue against that.

Why are you assuming people who disagree with you aren't experienced in and/or working in, the field? No publication I know would send an interview to the subject. Fact checkers do their jobs, and reporters are expected to have recordings of interviews in case people claim something was taken out of context or faked, which people do fairly regularly, even though they were quoted accurately. This is why you don't erase shit.

Kylabelle
12-23-2015, 02:56 PM
Folks, let's try to cool this down some, please. I know it's possible to disagree without quite so much heat applied. If you're getting steamed, take a break for a while before you post.

Thank you.

nighttimer
12-24-2015, 12:45 AM
I find it interesting that this thread shows that a lot of people hold t some idealised form of journalism that only exist in fiction. And that they are so beholden to that fictionalised version of how journalists work that they not only ignore those that have experience with how journalists work in the real world, but find it necessary to argue against that.

There are other long-time, trained, experienced, credentialed, aware-winning journalists on Absolute Write besides you, sir.

None of that means their opinion is beyond reproach or that they can't be wrong.

Allisonn
12-24-2015, 11:59 AM
Just to clarify: The interviewee did not have a website. And I doubt he picked up his biography
and started reading from it during the interview. :) And I actually think the sentences in question
were too wordy for him to have memorized, but maybe not.

Allisonn
12-25-2015, 04:36 AM
Just a follow-up. I sent the article to the author of the interviewee's biography (name removed),
and his response was "It looks like the writer wasn't happy with most of ____'s answers and then cribbed from my writing. Sad."

cornflake
01-12-2016, 12:27 AM
This article (http://gawker.com/rolling-stone-publisher-doesnt-see-what-the-big-deal-is-1752164460) made me think of this thread.


Some journalists, in the course of their professional lives, will come upon people who, before, during, or after an interview, will ask if they can read the forthcoming piece, once it is written, in order to approve its contents. Most often, they are simply concerned with making sure that they don’t sound like idiots. Understandable! Still, this is a frustrating thing to be asked, because it makes one wonder where these people have gotten this idea—that this is a thing that is done...


From a pullquote in the above -


Allowing any source control over a story’s content is inexcusable. The practice of pre-approval discredits the entire story—whether the subject requests changes or not.

mistri
01-12-2016, 02:04 AM
Think much of the debate in this thread depends on the kind of journalism you're doing.

I've worked on a lot of trade mags in the UK that are largely funded by advertisers rather than cover prices. Those same advertisers are often the topic of interviews in said magazines because they're trade/business mags. And surprise, surprise, advertisers can be quite fussy about seeing content before it's printed and can threaten to take their money away if you don't let them have a say. Should this make a difference? Does it make a difference.... ahem.

LindaJeanne
01-12-2016, 06:22 AM
Dunno. My Grandma used to tell stories about her life virtually word-for-word the same way; if two people had interviewed her five years apart, it might look like one had plagiarized the other, even if neither knew of the other's existence.