In the third part of our new weekly series, taking one newspaper from one day this week and scouring it for churnalism, here’s a survey of this Tuesday’s Daily Telegraph (NB the headlines listed are from the print edition, which can be different from those online).
There are, in the news section, 11 articles bylined ‘Daily Telegraph Reporter’. Many of these appear to have come directly off the wires (but because we don’t have access to Press Association, Assoicated Press, Agence France-Presse or Reuters we cannot confirm this). Another 4 stories look like they are from press releases or from local news. So that’s 15 apparently churned articles out of a total of 44 stories in the first 11 pages. Then world news starts on page 12, followed by features and editorials.
Starting from the top:
- ‘Chair champion’ who ensures BBC staff are sitting comfortably’, pages 1 & 7, by Anita Singh
This article seems to have started life as an exclusive on the Manchester Evening News, complete with the provocative job title ‘Chair Champion’. Some of the original copy appears to have survived in the Telegraph (35% cut, 19% pasted), though less made it into the Mail and Express. The Manchester Evening News story is not mentioned or credited anywhere in the Telegraph piece.
- ‘MPs opposed to banning unpaid interns’, page 2 (only appears in print but see our flickr stream), by Daily Telegraph Reporter
This one appears to come directly from the Press Association, given chunks are identical to the (labelled) Press Association story on the MSN news site.
- ‘Secret files “found in major’s home”’, page 5 (again only in print, but see flickr), by Daily Telegraph Reporter
Another one that looks like it’s directly off the wire, given the Yorkshire Post reported exactly the same story in almost the same language.
- ‘Town rallies round its first homeless man’, page 5 (only in print), by Daily Telegraph Reporter
Also available in the News Shopper.
- ‘Doctor “had sex with patient on his surgery couch”‘, page 6 (only in print), by Daily Telegraph Reporter
This appeared in awfully similar language in the Daily Mail. Amusingly enough, both stories also contain the same typographical error in Ms A’s quote: “I was in total shock as [sic] how my gentle and kind GP had turned into a monster overnight.” So no spell check applied to wire copy then?
- ‘Three months of Olympic gridlock’, page 6, by David Milward
A story that appeared in lots of places, including – with considerable overlap – in Yahoo! News (86% cut, 36% pasted).
- ‘Her sleep, not his, is key to a happy home’, page 7, by Martin Beckford
This one does appear to come from a press release, sent out by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society. According to Churnalism.com it is 30% cut and 41% pasted in the Telegraph, and slightly less so in the Mail (36% cut and 52% pasted).
- ‘Let’s toast the bride – it’s your round’, page 10, no byline
- ‘University not worth the money, say middle-class parents’, page 10, by Graeme Paton
- ‘Young adults “too scared” to give blood’, page 10 (only appears in print), no byline
- ‘Jail officers “got sex for favours”’, page 11 (only in print), by Daily Telegraph Reporter
We couldn’t track down any specific wire copy for this story, but we found it also appears, with a very similar structure and matching quotes, in the Daily Mail – by ‘Daily Mail Reporter’ (perhaps a good friend of Daily Telegraph Reporter’s?), BBC News (no byline), and in The Times, Express and Mirror.
- ‘PC “lied to get compensation”’, page 11 (only in print), by Daily Telegraph Reporter
Another court write-up, this one being from Exeter Crown Court. Since there is no byline, and given that the Telegraph does not have multiple reporters reporting from county courts, and that the story runs to 150 words, it seems pretty safe to assume it’s from the wires.
- ‘Wimbledon fans face Tube strikes’, page 11 (only in print), by Daily Telegraph Reporter
This article contains quotes from Bob Crow, Jeremy Hunt and Steve Hedley found in this Press Association wire copy, and hence quoted elsewhere including on BBC News and the Evening Standard. The Press Association copy clarifies that Hunt’s quote comes from Twitter, but the Telegraph have chosen not to indicate it was copied and pasted from social media (we almost thought for a moment that the Telegraph had called up directly and got a quote from Hunt’s office.)
- ‘Been robbed? Tweet police’, page 11 (only in print), by Daily Telegraph Reporter
We couldn’t find any wire copy for this, though the quote from the force also appeared in the Metro.
- ‘No chains for mayor who “doesn’t do bling”’, page 11 (only in print), by Daily Telegraph Reporter
This story, about mayor of Cromer, Greg Hayman, appears to date from way back in May, complete with an ‘I don’t do bling’ quote, in the North Norfolk News. It’s almost as if the story has been dusted off and resent. Perhaps it helps that Greg Hayman himself has had a career in ‘management and PR’ (according to North Norfolk News). The story also appears in the Belfast Telegraph, AOL news, the Metro, the Morning Star and elsewhere.
So, that’s 15 stories in the first 11 pages. Ouch.
Doesn’t it seem a little odd to mark stories ‘Daily Telegraph Reporter’ when there is little evidence of any on-the-ground reporting actually done by a Daily Telegraph reporter?
Brought to you by the team at Churnalism.com. If you spot any churn please let us know by emailing team AT churnalism DOT com.
Written by Gavin Freeguard, Laura MacPhee, Martin Moore and Camilla Schick.