‘The Australian’ admits to plagiarism

October 20, 2013

The Australian, the country’s only nationwide newspaper, has admitted to rewriting stories from The Age, a rival paper based in Victoria.

According to Crikey, (again, apologies for the paywall), the first story to raise concerns at The Age was The Australian’s coverage of a clash between protestors and police over a controversial tunnel work site, which closely mirrored The Age’s earlier report.

Similar reports last week spurned an admission of guilt from The Australian’s editor Clive Mathieson, who said “It does appear that on these occasions our briefs ripped off information from The Age website. The reporters who compiled the briefs have been told in no uncertain terms that it is unacceptable. Apologies to The Age. It won’t happen again.”

The papers represent both of Australia’s two and basically only media companies, News Corp and Fairfax, and have had a bitter rivalry.

I will admit to a certain amount of schadenfreude in this case, as would The Age’s editor-in-chief Andrew Holden, who said to Crikey, “We know The Australian is obsessed with The Age, but we didn’t realise it extended to actually plagiarising our work”.

“They are clearly going online and copying and pasting our work … We’re happy to provide them with a direct news service if they’d prefer. For a small fee.”

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