Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sunday's NFL Insider column

The Enquirer's NFL writer, Mark Curnutte, is an NFL insider. Says so right on his Sunday column, NFL Insider.

Apparently, all you need to do to be an "insider" is read the web sites of other newspapers, because that's all Curnutte is doing in putting the column together. Each item was reported somewhere else first. The Brady Quinn item was reported by Cleveland area media (the Plain Dealer and the Warren Tribune Chronicle) midweek. The item about the Pittsburgh Steelers' search for a new center was in Saturday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and has been reported before. The item on Samari Rolle of the Baltimore Ravens was reported by the Baltimore Sun on Friday. The item on Buffalo Bills' ticket sales was reported by the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle on Thursday.

And the item on St. Louis Ram Marc Bulger? Curnutte writes:
Bulger, 30, said he tries "to stay out that stuff" when it comes to contract talks.
The St. Louis Post Dispatch wrote on May 26:
Bulger, 30, said he tries "to stay out of that stuff" when it comes to contract talks.
Curnutte dropped the word "of" in the partial quote, but otherwise it's the same sentence.

At the end of the NFL Insider column, the Enquirer is thoughtful enough to put this tagline: "Written, in part, from notes provided by other NFL beat writers."

In part?
I would say that 100% is a big part, and not a single item is properly attributed to its original source. Writing "Rolle ... told reporters who cover the Ravens" is totally inadequate. There doesn't seem to be a shred of original reporting here, and it even appears Curnutte has engaged in a little cutting and pasting.

Every sports writer does this, re-reporting for readers in one city something previously reported in another. Attribution rules are always a little loose. But you should never pass off others' work as your own. Putting your picture on a column of old news and calling yourself an "insider" takes this to a very high level.


Blogger The Dean of Cincinnati said...

Thanks for this item. I just cited it in this letter.

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't it seem like no one cares? You know, with the lack of response and all.

8:49 PM  

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