Why journalists love bloggers…

JUST below, Mick recounted Michael White’s admission that the benefit a blogger has over a journalist is the instant feedback. True. But one benefit journalists have over bloggers is that they can shamelessly rip them off and pass blog entries off as their own stories. Twenty Major has stumbled (probably literally, the drunken hallion) over the latest prime example, as Sunday Indo columnist Andrea Byrne blatantly rips off Irish blogger Fatmammycat’s article about drunken encounters from last September. Play ‘spot the difference’ below the fold.I did a quick poll of my male friends.
What do you lot think about the women you meet on a night out? I asked.
Drunk, was the resounding answer, drunk and easy.

Are we? Is that the perceived opinion of women?

Fatmammycat, Sept 13th 2006

I conducted a quick poll among my male friends. “What do you think about the women you meet on a night out?” I asked. “Drunk,” was the resounding answer. “Drunk and easy.”

Are we? Is that the perceived opinion of Irish women, even among our own?

Andrea Byrne, Sunday Independent April 8th 2007

  • SuperSoupy


    As FMC hasn’t confirmed this, imagine the egg on faces if she turns out to be Andrea……….

    That would be a laugh at bloggers moment.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    And if she isn’t that would be a laugh at SuperSoupy moment?

    Just kidding. Love your posts really.

  • SuperSoupy

    Well tis one or t’other: gross plagiarism or outing an anonymous blogger.

    Either way good value. INM get shafted, good work.

  • Henry 07

    The Sindo has a reputation for stealing stories. But at least the stolen ones are more likely to be true than the ones they just make up.

  • The Dubliner

    It’s more than likely the “outting” option, SS, as it’s hardly a memorable quote/segway. Anyway, Twenty should be ashamed for himself for reading the Sindo.

    Still, if it comforts Bloggers and Commenters to think that someone ‘with a life’ is reading…

  • Pete Baker


    While there may be similarities in the two anecdotes used, it seems more than unfair to describe the article concerned as plagiarism – in that I doubt they are uncommon anecdotes.

    In addition, the bulk of the Sunday Independent article consists of attributed quotes, and other references, which are absent from the blog-post.

  • SuperSoupy

    For the Sindo link, the bugmenot details are:

    email : as@df.com
    password : asdf

  • Michael Shilliday

    Actually it was me…….

  • Blagger


    its a straight lift akin to an A* student doing their coursework but fair play to you for standing up for a lady!

    Do you lay down your coat when a pretty young thing wishes to cross a puddle when climbing into a coach?


  • Belfast Gonzo


    –noun 1. the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work.

    2. something used and represented in this manner.

    It’s plagiarism, assuming they aren’t the same person.

    The ‘article’ was ripped off in the sense that the bits highlighted above were used almost verbatim by the Sindo journo.

    I didn’t mean the entire piece was plagiarised. Just certain parts. Memorable, quotable parts, as it happens.

    But I’m afraid it’s still plagiarism, as anyone who’s ever marked an few undergrad essays will tell you.

  • Pete Baker


    When the major parts of both articles are significantly different any accusation of plagiarism, an accusation that has serious implications for any journalist, is tenuous to say the least.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Bizarrely, I’ve just read the comments in the latest post on FMC and spotted this:

    Andrea B said…
    Just love your writing. Keep it up!

    10:26 PM

    Clicking on the name revealed: http://fatmammycat.blogspot.com/2007/04/www.sindo.ie


  • Belfast Gonzo


    Suggest you buy a dictionary.

  • SuperSoupy


    Don’t read too much into that. The comment was added after the allegation broke – that was a piss take – twenty?

  • SuperSoupy

    Twenty says they aren’t the same person, I believe him.

    Plagiarism it is.

  • Belfast Gonzo


    It probably was a Twenty fan, but who knows…?

  • Pete Baker


    I’ve indicated why I think the accusation is not justified.

    Additionally, there is considerable original, and clearly separate, work presented in both articles.

    Let’s leave it as that difference of opinion.

  • SuperSoupy

    Or leave it at you bizarrely trying to cover up obvious plagiarism by a ‘journo’?


    Will you mind this wallet I stole?

  • The Dubliner

    Belfast Gonzo, I’d be careful about making derogative allegations based on your interpretation of a lexicographer’s interpretation. Plagiarism is a too serious an allegation to make based on such scant material. You might be wise to check several dictionaries and observe how their definitions vary. They vary because a definition represents a lexicographer’s interpretation of word’s meaning and because copyright legislation prevents duplication. Ergo, the definition will vary according to whichever dictionary you read.

    In regard to the above, there are obvious similarities in presentation but there isn’t any original thought or writing in either, nor is there anything to suggest that the similarities are anything other than coincidental. The format used (A poll showed…..X, Y or Z. [unexpected result or insight] Is this true? [Surprise and questioning of result] What do you think? [Passes question over to others for debate]) is in the public domain and cannot be considered to be an original work to either of the two individuals concerned.

  • iano

    Seeing as we are writing about plagiarism what about the guys who sued Dan Brown over the Da Vinci Code on the besis that it was based on their work?

    If it were a true history it could not be copyrighted so if they were suing ….

    Two admirable men who thought of the poor starving lawyers in their time of need.

    (That is poor as in material wealth and not poor as is the guy who called for Lawrie Sanchez’s head!)

  • jone

    Still it wasn’t the worst thing in the Sindo this week.

    That would have to go to the page 3 by some dim-witted hackette who spent several hundred words expressing her shock that when some of Snoop and P Diddy’s legion of hangers-on asked her if she wanted to party after the show they were really expressing an interest in bucking her.

    Who’d thunk it?

  • Belfast Gonzo, I can, with my hand hovering somwhere over my heart, say to you that I am very definitely not Andrea Byrne. I can also say I have never been propositioned by P Diddy, Snoop or any of their entourage either.
    Yours, in good bank holiday cheer.

  • Gonzo

    Thanks for your kind words FMC. Any thoughts about your fan in the Sindo?

    Flattered or pissed off?

  • Neither really, it’s the Sindo. I don’t expect any better from them to be perfectly honest.
    Right ho, enjoy the rest of the evening, I’m off to watch the Sopranos (season 7, ahhhh yeahhhh).

  • plagiarism

    I bought theSunday Tribune to read an interview on Johnny Adair by Suzanne Breen, a few days later at lunch time I read the exact same interview in the Sun by Liz Trainor, so I swiped the Sun newspaper that belonged to a workmate and went home that evening and compared the two they are IDENTICAL not a letter or a comma or quote mark changed just cut shorter to fit the Sun pages.
    Is this legal?
    Can Breen sue?
    Can the Tribune sue?
    How does the the likes of Trainor keep their jobs are they told to do it by editors?

    If i’d know I could have saved a quid

  • Gonzo

    No idea how it happened. However, it’s not unusual, as reporters often use the same copy from a wire service such as Press Association’s.

  • Bill

    and sometimes they say that Babylon 5 is a Star Trek (nineties) spin off to print a story of a row between Shatner and Claudia Christian in T.J. Hooker. (from the eighties)

    Ah! The pressure to fill space!