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Copycats & Lazy Reporters Invade the Media

Copycats & Lazy Reporters Invade the Media
April 04
23:53 2019

Thursday, April 4, 2019 –
On Wednesday evening, eyebrows and blood pressures were raised after revelations that a post on the Reporter’s Facebook page, made just after 4:30pm from the Prime Minister’s impromptu press conference, had been copied verbatim, including a picture, by a leading media house and a popular media blog. The three identical posts, the original and the two copied, then went viral as individuals noticed and raised the alarm.

The Reporter, for the record, has clarified that its post was the original, and in fact the two others posted by media house and media blog were taken down shortly after persons started reposting on Facebook.

It is unfortunate that this occurred, but it highlights what has been an alarming and disturbing trend in Belize for the past few years, particularly since the dissemination of news has transitioned from traditional fora to social media. The push then, has been for credible media entities to break the news, while remaining accurate. Sadly, some media entities have lost their direction, and their ethics, along the way.

One media blog, in particular, has grown tremendously by piggybacking on work and resources expended by other media houses. That media blog recruits reporters from media houses, and pays them to send in stories first. So while media entity A is going the extra mile to ensure that a story is being done, and done well, a reporter in their employ is on another payroll, and is ensuring that the story gets to the media blog first. It is ingenious, and unethical, because the media blog does nothing to get the story but pay a minimal stipend to the reporter, who uses his (real) employer’s resources to get the story.

Additionally, that media blog that came on the scene just 4-5 years ago has been infamous, for stealing stories and pictures from credible media houses who have now successfully made the transition to social media. While these media houses expend money and resources and manpower to go out and get the story, and to post, that infamous media blog waits for that post, then steals it, with requisite pictures.

The Reporter calls on media entities to respect the work and effort done by others, and to respect their work-space. For too long the practice of copy-catting has been allowed, and pseudo-media blogs have managed, with little expenditure of effort, to ‘shine.’ This can no longer, and should no longer, be tolerated. Following a meeting of our Editorial staff, the Reporter has determined that it will now call out, at every opportunity, any media entity which copies or piggybacks on work which has been done by this newspaper.

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