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The illusion of radio reporting

One of the most frustrating things for reporters and publishers is the unauthorized use of their work. In some instances, creative works are inadvertently plagiarized after they have been forwarded without attributing information attached. Sometimes they are plagiarized with malice. Newspapers have long been plagiarized by other media sources. Other newspapers and television stations almost always attribute information generated by others that they use in the coverage. Radio stations, however, are another story entirely. Major market news stations like WSB in Atlanta have their own news staffs and do an excellent job generating news and reporting it. Outside those markets, many smaller radio stations have ‘˜personalities’ but no real reporters. These are the stations that are most likely to steal newspaper coverage and broadcast it as their own. Coverage in The Herald-Gazette and online at barnesville. com are often used by area radio stations. Most all of them attribute our work, giving us credit for the original reporting. Bill Taylor at WKEU in Griffin and Dave Piper at WTGA in Thomaston are vigilant about giving us credit for our reporting when they see fit to cite it in their own coverage. WBAF in Barnesville, however, is another story all together. The weaksignaled station runs promotional spots touting daily coverage of events in Lamar County as if it has reporters out covering the news. Yet when those reports are broadcast, over half the material is read verbatim from The Herald-Gazette or barnesville. com without attribution or credit. The illusion is the station is ‘˜reporting’ the news when actually it is stealing it! The other half is submitted information. We have asked that WBAF cease and desist from plagiarizing our work to no avail. It is a big deal to us and it should be a big deal to listeners because they are being deceived. The fact is no news outlet ‘“ online, print or broadcast ‘“ covers local news like we do. That is why they have to steal our coverage to compete. Think about that next time you hear local news. The Herald Gazette, barnesville.com is your local news source and you can count on us to continue to cover the news of Barnesville-Lamar County for you. I’m betting this is one piece you won’t hear over the airwaves.

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