Churnalism Weekly: The Times, Tuesday 5th July

In part six of our weekly series – scouring one newspaper from one day this week for churnalism – we take a look at Tuesday’s The Times. (NB You will not be able to view the online articles beyond the paywall unless you subscribe to The Times. Headlines listed below are from the print edition which can be different from those online.)

Some interesting cross-group content-sharing here. The first eight paragraphs of the article are almost identical to this NewsCore copy, the global wire of News Corp established in 2009 for all of News Corp’s news outlets. Given the timings printed on the pieces, it seems that the original was David Sanderson’s Times piece. Might have been nice for his own organisation’s newswire to credit him elsewhere?

This article reports on this official Buckingham Palace report on the past year’s Royal spending, which is also referred to but not churned in other outlets.

This article is reporting on research conducted by the University of Aberdeen. Upon googling quotes from one of the researchers referred to in the online version, we couldn’t track down any particular press release online, and other papers do not appear to have used the same quotes. So, looks like original reporting. Hurrah!

This article is reporting on this local county press release. The same release also appears 84% cut, 53% pasted in the Evening Standard, with their own journalist’s byline – but with no credit to Suffolk County Council.

This article links directly to the press release it is reporting on (hurrah again!), and also rather helpfully to the Badger Trust home page from which it quotes a source. We popped this quote into the churn engine and it didn’t appear to crop up in any other papers, so also appears to be original reporting. Hurrah yet again – original reporting following up a news release.

This article, and supplement pullout, reports exclusively on the state of adoption services as investigated by Martin Narey (former chief executive of Barnardo’s) who was commissioned by The Times in January.

Martin Narey’s concerns were also reported on the BBC, and by PA (bylined here by The Independent) who in turn credit The Times for the report. Jolly good.

  • ‘Say cheese! Monkey apes photographer with its own family snaps’ page 16, no byline

This bizarre animal story (article not online) of a monkey taking photos of itself, appeared also in the Mail, The Guardian, Telegraph, The Sun, and the Express. The papers credit the UK wire Caters News Agency for the images.

  • ‘Show makes sea monsters out of humble plankton’, page 16, no byline

This nib (not available online) reports on a new exhibition about plankton, and includes quotes from this University of Plymouth July press release. Interestingly, when we put the press release into the churn engine it flagged up two Mail Online articles, one from September 2010 and one from December 2010. Both appear to be extracts from a book, Ocean Drifters. So the quotes on the press release appear to be churned. Exciting to hear about a new exhibition; shame nobody could be bothered to source some fresh quotes around the launch.

  • ‘Clear head needed to bid for ghost of a machine’, page 16, no byline

This nib (not online) contains a quote also found in the RM Auctions product details here.

This nib might have derived from PA wire copy (credited by The Independent, here) which, when pasted into the churn engine, appears covered elsewhere.

We had a quick glance at the paper’s World section, too – though we don’t want to be (and can’t be) too pernickety here, as The Times does a good deal by having its own foreign correspondents.

This article quotes from a general Oxfam press release, but they appear to source unique quotes from an Oxfam Africa spokesperson not used elsewhere.

  • ‘Senior Burmese envoy in Washington defects’, page 26, by Richard Lloyd Parry

The print version of this article uses quotes which also appear in Reuters wire copy (credited here by Yahoo! News) But a similar story by Times journalist Sophie Tedmanson from the day before appears to have cut 60% from Reuters without crediting them.

Nibs on page 28 – ‘Chavez returns home’, ‘Nato defends airstrikes’, and ‘Match-fixing’ arrests’ – each credit a news wire (Reuters, and AP).

So, credited sources and press releases followed up with original reporting… All in all, The Times won’t be up for a Churner Prize.

Brought to you by the team at If you spot any churn please let us know by emailing team AT churnalism DOT com.

By Gavin Freeguard, Camilla Schick, & Lucy Snow