Howl! It’s Not Plagiarism. Just Lazy.

For today’s howl, I’m calling out Kelly Bayliss over at NBC10.  I’m sure Kelly’s very nice, but if you take a look at her article on NBC10’s website called “Fat in Philadelphia,” it looks very similar to the article that Catherine Lucey did in the Daily News.

That’s because it’s the same damn article – just re-worded and switched around. Granted, Bayliss did cite the Daily News story (which received 1 1/2 Hoots from TUJReview) in her article, so it’s not 100 percent, flat-out plagiarism, but come on. You really couldn’t find another angle on the story, so you just parroted back the Daily News’ version?

Why not try to get out there and talk to some of the residents of Philly?  Ask them how they feel about things like the sky-rocketing prices of fresh fruit and veggies.  Ask them what they spend their food dollars on, how do they make their budgets last?  When they go to the grocery store, do they pick up the healthier stuff, or the cheap stuff?  If they eat healthy, how do they do it on a tight budget?

“Man on the street” interviews are a great way to spice up a stale story, or one that doesn’t really have a new angle.  That’s why every year at Christmas, you have reports on the economy with people talking about how they’re cutting back on presents, looking out for sales, etc.

She could have talked to a dietician or someone who could give tips and recipes about eating healthy on a budget.  Or, perhaps do a little digging into the other nine cities who were considered “fat.”  Are they having the same type of economic woes that Philadelphia’s having? What’s their average household income? How does it compare to Philadelphia’s?

Sadly, NBC10 is notorious for doing this type of thing, so I concede that it’s not Bayliss’ fault; her editor probably told her, “Take this and rework it for our site.”  I get that the two entities decided to share content back in 2004, but if that’s the case, why not just slap the same story on the website, byline and all?

– Renee Cree

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2 responses to “Howl! It’s Not Plagiarism. Just Lazy.

  1. Isn’t this a bit extreme of a reaction to the NBC10 piece? Sure, Bayliss could’ve (and should’ve) probably taken a different angle and put in some actual footwork, but in her defense, she cites the Philly.com piece not once, not twice, but FOUR separate times, each time providing a hyperlink to the piece in question. Is aggregated news not news? Bayliss likely wasted her time writing such a long piece that only serves to point to another piece (the Philly.com one), but it’s a far cry from “plagiarism.” You’re kind of jumping down her throat though. Maybe NBC10’s webpage focus isn’t on original content, and instead concentrates on aggregating the news from various Philly websites? This piece of yours seems mighty catty and, while it’s important to keep an eye on the the way we deliver media, doesn’t really serve to help the case for original content delivery in Philadelphia.

  2. Um, we didn’t say that she plagiarized. We said she was lazy.

    We stand by that.

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