During the past week I exchanged a few mails with Sam Flemming about podcasters on Toodou that got famous because of their video’s, because he planned to write about it on his blog. Today I found an article from the China Daily on my RSS reader about the same subject. I felt it was quite similar to Sam’s article, and when I checked it, it tunrned out that Sam was the author. I did not know that he also writes for this paper, but did not think further about it. But just now I looked at his blog, and found that the China Daily had just copied his blog post without informing or paying him for this. The only thing they did is to put his name on there. Sam doesn’t get too upset about it, but merely says that he had hoped they would have mentioned his company CIC Data or that he could have rewritten the article.
This is not the first time this happens, the China Daily is well-know for copy/pasting articles. I guess that’s the risk of blogging, others can use the material without asking. But it also happens to other media. From an interview with the South China Morning Post that I did early May some clips were taken by other newspapers, and I suddenly found interviews with me in newspapers from such places as Jordan and North Korea. None of them even mentioned the source!
I suppose this has always happened in the past, but because of RSS tools it is now much easier to find out. All articles that mention among others Toodou or Spill Group end up automatically in my mailbox every day. So cheaters are caught easily.
And for the China Daily, they make other mistakes as well. This week for example several people contacted me to ask about a 100 million USD investment in Toodou. I wondered where that (incorrect) information came from, and my RSS feed showed the original source: the China Daily had written an article about new media in which the investment in RMB was put as USD. A simple check by an editor through Google or Baidu could have prevented this error.