Dave Seminara | Plagiarism at The Daily Mail- Look What I Found
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27 Jan Plagiarism at The Daily Mail- Look What I Found

The Daily Mail has never been known for its high standards but this example of blatant plagiarism is a shocker even for them. Behold this half-assed story, penned by Simon Cable about Don Parrish, one of the world’s legendary travelers. I know Don.  In fact, I’m working on a story about him myself. Unlike Simon Cable, I actually TOOK THE TIME TO MEET DON IN PERSON. TWICE!

When Don sent me the Mail piece, along with an email sent to him by Cable, I read it and immediately smelled a rat. Don has been too busy to submit to Cable’s interview request, so he directed him to his website, which has links to other articles written about him, including this one, from The Daily Herald, a pretty darn good medium sized newspaper in suburban Chicago.

Cable said to Don in the email, “I have written something up using some of your previous quotes.” Since Don didn’t make time for an interview, he took the liberty of stealing someone else’s work. When I read Cable’s line about using previous quotes, I assumed he was guilty of stealing quotes without attribution. A quick look at the two pieces revealed that Cable did indeed steal several quotes from the DH, all without attribution. But when I printed the two pieces out and compared them side by side, I realized that it wasn’t just quotes that were stolen. It was whole chunks of the article.

I assume that once I expose this blatant case of plagiarism, the Mail will take the piece down, so I’m going to save both printouts and reprint some examples of the thievery below. My bet is that the Mail won’t even give Cable a slap on the wrist because this is the new media landscape. Wild, wild west to say the least. What a shame. It is no wonder the public has so little trust in journalists.

DH: He travels about six months a year, often alone but sometimes with one or two others to share the costs.

DM: He travels about six months a year, often alone but sometimes with one or two others to share the costs.

DH: “At one level,” he says, “I’m running out of world.”

DM: “At one level,” he says, “I’m running out of world.”

DH: Five of his ancestors boarded the Mayflower in 1620 in search of the New World and a new life and that sense of adventure and wanderlust appears to have trickled down through the generations.

DM: Five of his ancestors boarded the Mayflower in 1620 in search of the New World and a new life and that sense of adventure, something which he says he has inherited.

DH: “I travel in every imaginable way,” he says, including chartering planes and ships to reach remote islands that don’t show up on most tourism brochures.

DM: ‘I travel in every imaginable way,’ he says, including chartering planes and ships to reach remote islands.

DH: When he wanted to visit Somalia in 2010, his travel agent refused to help, fearing Parrish would be kidnapped. He made the trip anyway and was able to find a contact there who helped him with security.

When he visited a region called Puntland, his party travelled in two Ford Explorers with four guards carrying AK-47s.

‘It turned out to be an absolutely fantastic place to visit,’ he says.

‘It’s really quite interesting when you travel with your own armed guards. When you go to the hotel, people take notice of you.’

DM: When he wanted to visit Somalia in 2010, his travel agent refused to help, fearing Parrish would be kidnapped. He made the trip anyway and was able to find a contact there who helped him with security.

When he visited a region called Puntland, his party travelled in two Ford Explorers with four guards carrying AK-47s.

‘It turned out to be an absolutely fantastic place to visit,’ he says.

‘It’s really quite interesting when you travel with your own armed guards. When you go to the hotel, people take notice of you.’

DH: “You have to be willing to suffer,” he says. “If you value your own convenience, forget it.”

DM: “You have to be willing to suffer,” he says. “If you value your own convenience, forget it.”

DH: ‘No one will ever finish that list,’ Parrish says. ‘It’s just too difficult.’

DM: ‘No one will ever finish that list,’ Parrish says. ‘It’s just too difficult.’

DH: He says he’ll have to wait for more peaceful times to visit two places still on his to-do list: the Gaza Strip and Guantanamo Bay.

DM: He says that two destination (sic) on his wish list, the Gaza Strip and Guantanamo Bay, will have to wait because of safety issues.

1/28 8:53 PST UPDATE: The Daily Mail has revised the story and their reporter has apologized without explaining his actions. Mr. Cable has now attributed the  recycled  quotes and paraphrased the lines that he previously cut and pasted from the Daily Herald story. They did not, however, provide a link to the Daily Herald story, no doubt because they don’t want their readers to know how much they borrowed from it.

I sent a Tweet to Tony Gallagher (@Gallaghereditor) last night, asking if he cared about this instance of blatant plagiarism. He has yet to respond. If you think he should provide an explanation, tweet him yourself. One can only wonder how often Daily Mail reporters do this and don’t get caught. I only happened to catch this because I had read the Daily Herald piece while researching the story I planned to write.

March 9, 2015 UPDATE: It appears as though the offending story has now been pulled off the Daily mail website. In other surprising news, Simon Cable has been shortlisted at the annual UK Press Awards for showbiz reporter of the year.