The growing Irish sport of webswiping…

Simon McGarr’s latest project is to examine the outputs in various mainstream newspapers, and post them on a cumulative wiki called the Press Round. Anyone can contribute! One sharp eyed observer noted a story lifted by the Evening Echo Herald blogged originally by Red Mum at the Dublin Community Blog. The nimble Red then got on to Dublin City Council to get their end of the story. All details, apparently, were lifted without acknowledgement. The Midnight Court has another spectacular webswipe!

  • Can editors remove reporters’ hands for routine maintenance?

  • Hello there,

    Thanks for the links. I particularly like the Sindo’s sleepy acceptance of whatever Google Image search told it was a Garda Reserve Recruitment poster.

    The tag, if anyone wants to join in and write about anything that caught their eye on their own site is ‘paperround’


  • The Phil Lynott story which was reproduced in the Evening Herald (not actually the Evening Echo) was not the first time that has happened.

    I got an exclusive for the Dublin Blog on the former Lord Mayor, Dermot Lacey’s snazzy ebike being stolen from outside City Hall ironically while he was at a transport meeting. I know Dermot and he told me this in passing.

    So I put up a post on it, more out of curiosity to see would it be picked up. Dermot got a call from the Daily Mail 20 minutes after it was posted (I made it easy for them by including his mobile number! I think that must be a record.

    And the Evening Herald ran a piece on it the following week using the angle former Mayor has transport robbed while speaking about transport.

    Not a mention of Dublin blog, of course. But they are obviously looking to us for inspiration AND stories. (Not to mention Herald AM using one of my pics without permission)

    The McDowell poster and the Sindo is tooo funny. Thats just plain embarassing for someone.

  • Mick Fealty


    As Pete might say: ‘My bad…’ 🙂

  • Hmm… this seems like another case of a blogger getting a story but not owning it; it’s not like a missing guitar on a prominent Dublin statue is hard to spot (but that’s not to say that they didn’t come across the blog post first, or later during their “research”).
    The Mayor/Bike one is a different story and if the Dublin Blog was the only place that published it then it’s obvious the papers used it as a source, as I’m sure they often do.
    It’s interesting; would love to find out how often red-top journo’s scavenge across the blogosphere for inspiration…

    (ps, Langerland should sue the Sindo, asking for whatever amount the newspaper gets of Britney as payment!)

  • Mick Fealty

    That’s an interesting distinction Adam.

    We’ve broken a number of stories in the last year. Sometimes we have had an attribution, and sometimes not. It’s not something I get agitated about.

    But more recently I have taken to using Iain Dale’s approach and marking breaking stories with the term ‘exclusive’. It’s fairly crude and I’m not sure how effective it actually is.

    Are there other ways a blog/blogger can assert ‘ownership’ of a story in journalistic terms?

  • Are there other ways a blog/blogger can assert ‘ownership’ of a story in journalistic terms?

    About as much as a journalist can; it’s only when quotes and text is taken wholesale that a journalist can really claim to be plagarised and even then they probably won’t be bothered doing much with it. Just look at the monday tabloids to see the amount of articles obviously lifted from the Sundays.

    In that respect, unless it’s clear a journalist used someone elses work/research/quotes without attribution or authorisation, I suppose a blogger just has to be happy with the fact that they got there first, just like a journalist does (as a big story broken in a paper one day is going to be picked up without attribution by its rivals ASAP).

    I think most bloggers wouldn’t get aggitated at a lack of attribution unless they worked really hard only to have all that taken from them without thanks or money.

  • seedot

    funny story on this. I wrote a piece for indymedia about a bin tax action a few years back which was taken up by 3 or 4 of the Irish ‘nationals’ (herald, examiner and the morning redtops) along with a few of the locals.

    It was easy to track because the original lift had a mistake where 15 to 50 protestors got converted into 15 to 50 trolleys of rubbish returned – and then repeated even when the reporter bothered making a phonecall – which was always to Repak – the national waste agency mentioned in the story, rather than the protestors or even the stores.

    Course by the time the chinese whispers that passes for journalism had its way, it was a much better story for the strength of the anti-bin tax campaign than any ‘truth’.

    The examiners version is the near the end of the comments.

  • Gonzo

    ‘News’ is not copyright, unless (I think) it’s a direct cut and paste job, which is terribly bad form, but unlikely to result in any action.

    Since newspapers routinely follow up on stories broken by rivals (which is fair enough), it’s the norm to at least re-write the words outside quote marks and try and ‘move the story on’, usually through obtaining reaction. Words inside quotes are fair game, obviously, since they are public domain.

    It’s also good form to credit the originator of the story eg, …the BBC reported. However, this often goes by the wayside for different reasons (snobbery, rivalry, lack of space etc).

    Pictures are a different matter, and if Red Mum’s photo was lifted without permission, she should send an invoice to the paper which published it. They will likely pay up, but if not, a solicitor’s letter will do the trick.

  • EEK I just had it pointed out to me, in my comment I say Herald AM that printed my pic, of course it wasn’t it was Metro. Huge apologies.