Copycat?

I saw a story about the world's oldest cat living in Sweden. It was in The Telegraph. The main quotes were word-for-word the same as a story in The Local. Even the punctuation in the quotes was a carbon copy. This made me curious.

The Local typically does its own translations of Swedish news with its own staff. Here in The Telegraph, a respectable but troubled UK paper, was The Local's exact translation and almost exactly the same story content. The Telegraph story was published a day later and doesn't mention The Local.

Did The Telegraph copy The Local's article? I asked The Local about this.

"I can confirm this story was written by our staff journalist," said James Savage, Managing Editor of The Local. "This kind of thing happens all the time, especially with the UK papers. It's frustrating."

I've tried to reach The Telegraph, but no response so far. I'll keep trying. 

I've been reading news from Sweden for years. You sometimes see shady journalism from credible news sites for stories in different languages. For example, a story in a Swedish paper taking full credit for news that's already appeared in the UK. You also see silliness on breaking news, such as being the first to do a Swedish story in English. A story can be plastered all over Swedish papers and social media, but a site that translates the story first can sometimes claim it broke the story too. Well, maybe.

With the cat story, evidence suggests a big UK paper swiped a story that's already been done in English elsewhere. As Savage says, this happens all the time. That doesn't mean we should accept it, right.

In this post, I think I'm trying to say two things: 1) kudos to those who still do international journalism right; and 2) a 29-year-old cat - that's amazing.