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Did the Sydney Morning Herald Copy a WeekendNotes Article?

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by Jon Jones (subscribe)
Founder and chief editor of WeekendNotes.
Published November 12th 2011
A few weeks ago the fabulous Sean Goedecke published this article on WeekendNotes:

Top 5 Dates For When You're Broke

Then a number of WN readers pointed out this Sydney Morning Herald article which was published late last week:

Cheap dates for cheapskates

Now while the article is not a complete rip-off and does add some novel dating ideas, it lifts the main premise and 3 of the 5 dating ideas from Sean's article.

Does the SMH author subscribe to WeekendNotes? Yes indeed.

Imitation done well
Now WeekendNotes articles are ripped-off all the time, but usually by publications of less repute than the venerable old broadsheet of Sydney.

When they do borrow an idea, more responsible publications usually acknowledge their source.

Is it imitation or inspiration? Facsimile or flattery? Are we getting upset over nothing, or should the SMH be held to higher standards?

What do you think?
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Love it Jon!
I think all too often news sources think that they can take things from online only sources, and have no need to actually give credit where credit is due. I know someone who writes for a similar online publication to WN, and one of the big magazines basically copied the article word for word.

Who knows, it could just be a coincidence. :)
by Natasha Stewart (score: 4|10421) 3114 days ago
I had spotted the similarity between the articles.

I submitted a comment to the SMH asking why their article resembled the prior Weekend Notes piece so closely. My comment did not make it through their moderation process. Perhaps the SMH is a bit too sensitive to any form of criticism.
by RossChapman (score: 1|43) 3114 days ago
I am not so sure... it's a topic I wrote about on another site last year... The SMH article is much more detailed and the places that are mentioned in both like Art after Hours and the Bondi walk are both very welll known cheap ideas...

Perhaps we are being a little paranoid. Surely everyone gets ideas from the various things that they read online and then if they think it will work for their readers try to improve on them.

I admit the timing is suspicious but I have had blog posts scheduled to appear only to find someone like timeout beats me by a few days...

The jury is out for me.
by Paula Morgan (score: 1|28) 3113 days ago
The plague of plagiarism! I see it happening far too much, and it is certainly not acceptable. If the journalist went to university they would realise how wrong it is. Good work for naming and shaming.
by Mallory (score: 2|474) 2154 days ago
Too close for comfort. I doubt it crosses any legal lines, but it certainly crosses some ethical ones!
by Jacky Bailey (score: 2|215) 3113 days ago
Perhaps you could post it to Media Watch?
by Dave Walsh (score: 4|11306) 2930 days ago
Yes, they should have acknowledged their source. Your right. Love weekendnotes. I think it is fantastic. Look forward to it in my Inbox! AMANDA
by adamf1 (score: 0|2) 2924 days ago
Ethically, they should attribute the article to the original author - the one who put the all the effort into researching and writing in the first place! Legally, I'm fuzzy on that but I was under the impression if you write it, you have copyright & the place where it is published has first publication rights - from my researching into submitting into magazines. It irks me that a reputable paper like the SMH can just take credit for something I wrote without giving me credit.
by Ashleigh Meikle (score: 2|262) 2918 days ago

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