Plagarisim in Journalism | Unmasked as a fraud – All too easy!

Copywriting and Content Marketing

Some naive individuals forget that a person researching business information and insights on-line browses through enormous quantities of content, almost on a daily basis. It is astounding to me just how many times I come across material claimed and publishes by an individual that is almost identical to items I have viewed before.

I recently looked at a piece about the importance of personal branding in 2017, only to discover that basically the claimant had done nothing other than alter the date in the headline. Their profile and headshot was attached to the article, so they were apparently quite proud of their flagrant plagiarism. What is also amusing (and in a perverted way gratifying), is discovering my own words regurgitated verbatim and misrepresented as another’s contribution to a debate.

I once discovered about 1 page of a 12 page government report on business tourism plucked verbatim from comments I had made about a year earlier in an industry forum on the subject.(without crediting me or the forum in which it was made). There are simple plagiarism checking software packages such as that you can past any passage you have prepared into to have its originality checked, it will identify any passages you may have (inadvertently) read and included from another’s on-line material. You can also check material already published simply by copy/pasting the content and excluding the URL where it is published from the plagiarism scan.

There are many others used by professionals and educators to check the validity of CV’s, White Papers and authenticate examination responses. Surprise surprise! My learned personal branding experts article received a 100% plagiarism rating (that = 0% original content). With so much sharing going on, one might think that claiming someone else’s material is an easy way to appear smart. Nothing is further from the truth! So before you potentially humiliate yourself and destroy any commercial credibility you have earned, make certain that your on-line contributions (whether scholarly or not) are never plucked from another’s website unless that originator is appropriately credited and a link to the original material’s URL included. Worse than that, the content you plagiarise is very likely to be copyrighted property belonging to the writer and/or its publishing website. Written permission must be obtained before anyone can reprint it in part or in full, either online or in print. Republishing content without permission and/or payment is theft and is punishable under law. Embarrassing as well as costly!


John Eustace

Principal / Communications and Media Strategist at

John believes in strategy-first, then aligning content with intent. Having worked for 40 years across multiple marketing disciplines and in all creative media, John understands the value and roles of informed and persuasive engagement. His wide ranging skill set, and the experience he shares enhances the strategic advice and practical marketing assistance he provides. Importantly it ensures that what you gain from Bells and Whistles actually aligns with your real-world commercial possibilities.

Bells and Whistles Marketing Pty Ltd


Marketing and communications


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Comments (2)

Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Definitely an important topic. I've seen this done across several blogs. I've also seen entire articles copied and the only thing that was changed were the article's images. On LinkedIn, I've even seen regular professionals copy and paste another's LinkedIn article and posted as if their own from the sense of "helping spread the message" instead of liking and/or just sharing that individuals article. I would call that unintended plagiarism (but having good intentions doesn't mean you still aren't infringing or at the very least confusing others).

Nancy Lin

Nancy Lin, at Nancy Lin - Freelance writer

John, I agree with your thoughts about plagiarism in this article. I was there - my well-researched article was once stolen and republished by other person. The most embarrassing part was that the stolen article received a positive acclaim from readers, likes, shares and comments.... Fortunately, I proved that I was the author of the piece ( I had to attach screenshots and plagiarism report from Content writers, freelancers and journalists have to defend their authorship, because creating original stories is a part of their jobs. Of course, you can't stop the plagiarism rush, but you could point to original source of the materials and gain an advantage from this situation.