Two big names in the LGBT press–The Advocate and Southern Voice in Atlanta–have been hit by allegations that they stole quotes from other authors and then reproduced them as their own. Thanks to Queerty–whose founder David Hauslaib spoke last week at NLGJA’s conference–for the heads-up.
I cancelled my Spring Break plans and made interview requests with State Sen. Andrew Rice, Rep. Wes Hilliard and Paul Sund and left a request with Sen. Russell’s office. I got in touch with everyone except Sen. Russell, who apparently has barred me from entering his office for life, and I was escorted out of the office by his secretary.
This story went to many national media outlets where I was rightfully given credit for my work, even on MSNBC. I got credit from everyone except The Advocate.
A reporter by the name of Michelle Garcia, copy and pasted my quotes and then summarized my story, and then she proceeded to call someone in Washington to comment on a story about Oklahoma as a variation.
He says he’s taken legal action and contacted The Advocate, but hasn’t heard back from them.
According to ProjectQAtlanta, a SoVo freelancer appeared to lift direct quotes from an article on dog trainer Victoria Stillwell from a story done weeks earlier by Fenuxe. ProjectQ says the SoVo issue with the allegedly lifted quotes has been taken down from SoVo’s site and that the story never made it online. The story, however, is available on ProjectQ.
But let’s back up a few steps and break this down. A media outlet lifting a story from another media outlet without attributing it and/or linking it to the source is a pretty serious matter – it strikes at the credibility that readers expect. And lifting pieces from another media outlet and branding them as your own is something ethicists and attorneys tend to call plagiarism.
Unfortunately, that’s a phrase already familiar to SoVo’s owner, Gaydar. They lost the editor of their first gay paper, the Atlanta Free Press, shortly before it collapsed and stopped publishing. He quit after reports surfaced that he was fired from his last job – ironically, at SoVo before Gaydar bought it earlier this year – for fabricating two stories.
Hopefully, the Advocate and SoVo can clear up confusion over the alleged quote-lifting.