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July 12, 2011

HuffPo Suspends Writer for Doing ‘What We Were Taught and Told to Do’

Really it looks like she was suspended because she got called out. HuffPo Suspends Writer for Doing 'What We Were Taught and Told to Do'
The Huffington Post indefinitely suspended a young blogger today for rewriting too much of someone's news article. This is pretty ridiculous, given HuffPo's systematic, officially-sanctioned approach to rewriting too much of people's news articles. Just ask a HuffPo veteran. "I am livid," a former HuffPo employee told us, referring to the news that the Huffington Post indefinitely suspended business writer Amy Lee for summarizing an AdAge column by mimicking its structure over six paragraphs. HuffPo business editor Peter Goodman wrote in response to the AdAge columnist's complaint that "we have zero tolerance for this sort of conduct... What occurred in this instance is entirely unacceptable and collides directly with the values that are at work in our newsroom." That will come as news to anyone who has read the Huffington Post, and indeed to anyone who has worked there. We're told the publication's longstanding and well-known tendency to reproduce large parts of other people's articles—verbatim or as summary—is no accident. The ex HufPo employee: That is what we were taught and told to do at HuffPost. Arianna and the higher ups made a decision to stop linking out directly as much and rewrite stories "the way the AP does." They even hired people specifically to rewrite other people's work. Whenever they get caught they just blame an underling. These poor kids right out of school who have no experience get told to do XY and Z and then get punished for doing it.

July 05, 2011

British tabloid caught hacking phone of murdered schoolgirl

This is just the latest in a long string of phone hacks by these sleazeballs. Hacking the Phone of a Murdered Schoolgirl: Murdoch's British Tabloid Accused of New Low - Global Spin - TIME.com
They moralize endlessly but Britain's tabloid newspapers are notoriously relaxed when it comes to their moral code. Even so, claims that Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator employed by the News of the World, hacked into the voicemails of a murdered 13-year-old schoolgirl called Milly Dowler—and actually deleted some messages to make space for new callers, accidentally giving her family false hope she may be alive—has caused widespread revulsion and may finally force a full investigation into the dark practices in British newsrooms. Such an investigation is long overdue. As advertising revenues and circulations have fallen, the mass-market tabloids—the so-called red-tops—and some of their supposedly upmarket competitors have shown an increasing disregard for journalistic good practice. In some cases, journalists and freelance investigators breached the law. And the authorities that should have reined them in turned a blind eye. Politicians did so because they sought the favor and feared the enmity of the popular press. The police did so because they failed to take the crimes seriously (like many members of the British public, they had little sympathy for wealthy celebrities and pampered politicians bleating about violations of their privacy); police resources were stretched; and some police were in the pay of the newspapers. In 2003, a committee of MPs looking into media intrusion interviewed the editors of the two British tabloids owned by Rupert Murdoch, the Sun and the News of the World. “We have paid police for information in the past,” said Rebekah Wade, the Sun editor. “As I said, we have always operated within the code and within the law,” countered the NOTW editor, Andy Coulson.