That’s not journalism and this isn’t either.

There are few things that annoy me more than not having stair access from the ground floor in the apartment building I live in, the newest addition to this list being an increase in copy-paste journalism.  Now maybe I’m overreacting, maybe it’s not that bad, but the longer readers allow it to pass as journalism, the more popular it seems to be getting.

For those without exposure to copy-paste journalism, this article should serve as a fine example.  The writer starts by finding something they’d like to show someone else (like an example of copy-paste journalism) and basically just posts a reference to it.  The reference is usually preceded by a small blurb by the author in an attempt to justify doing so little work and ends with a sentence to get you to look at the picture they took from elsewhere on the web in lieu of finding an actual story to report on.  I mean, just look at this glaring example from Gizmodo:

This is like the inception of copy-paste journalsim!

Look at me as I copy and paste an image, journalism in action!

Now don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the effort.  Given XKCD‘s hit and miss reputation as of late, I’m happy to have someone go through new material and tell me when it’s worth checking.  That being said, I don’t think someone doing this should be allowed to masquerade around as a journalist on a popular blog site.  I mean there are much better outlets for this sort of information than a blog.  Sharing it on Facebook or linking to it in a tweet would be faster, easier for both of us and, best of all, would let writers get back to writing actual news stories instead of short opinionated pieces on things they found on the net.

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2 thoughts on “That’s not journalism and this isn’t either.

  1. I understand that completely. I use all those Gawker Media sites for just about all my casual browsing but when it comes to subjects that I am very up to date on I find that they will post something days behind. I think that the service is great but it lacks true journalism. Likewise, if they were true journalists they would be working for a newspaper or magazine so I cannot say that this is an unexpected consequence.

  2. I totally agree with this. The web is supposed to supply us with endless information, and yet the top searches are usually copied and pasted from each other whenever i search something on google. There is no point in someone just copying something when I would have come across it anyways. It is already on the web, but now I just end up wasting time because I keep going through the same information over and over again with getting anything new from it. If someone is going to copy and paste then add something new to it or give a different point of view that allows the reader to gain better insight or understanding.

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