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:
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.