Career Wednesday: Same story, Almost


Journalists are held to a high standard, and plagiarism is (or should) be on the top of the list of no-no’s. Reporters have gotten fired for plagiarizing their stories so it’s a big deal.

This morning I was reading 13 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Dairy Queen. I was intrigued by item #4 and clicked on the first link, which took me to Dairy Queen’s New Blizzard Is Gonna Blow Your Mind. Both were fun (and yummy) reads.

However, I noticed two things about the articles:
1) The opening sentences are too similar and copy each other
2) Both compared the Royal Blizzards in a similar fashion (and linked) to Ben & Jerry’s cores ice cream: the links were named differently, but only one word was changed

In terms of competition–because every media outlet both online and on TV want to be the first to publish information first–it could be coincidence that the two articles are as such. Maybe the authors share a brain and came up with the same content, unbeknownst to each other? :/

I don’t know which annoys me more, the first item or second. I understand that bloggers read other blogs and link to each other in stories, but one couldn’t come up with a different opening sentence? (Ok I guess the first item annoys me more).

Writers, how do you make sure that you’re not plagiarizing your content? Am I completely wrong in comparing these two articles and citing one plagiarized the other? Let me know in the comments!


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