My husband has been riveted by the discussions of visual plagiarism on newsdesigner.com and visualeditors.com (which unfortunately requires membership to view the thread). The latest discussion has focused on the Daily Breeze and a package they ran on April 14 (btw, I got the image off Newsdesigner.com):
The package, according to the Daily Breeze’s Toni Sciacqua was used with permission:
I’m the news and design editor at the Daily Breeze and I take responsibility for using the AJC graphic. And I do feel like I got smeared yesterday without so much as an email asking why we did that or if we did it in a legit way. Not a very supportive or constructive community we’re building here, eh?
Kenny, from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, commented:
I work in Atlanta, and yes The Daily Breeze used our information for its focal point on A1. It’s the same WORD information, but did it have to be the same VISUAL information?
Our WORD information was used much like a wire service, which has standards and guidelines in place for any such concerns.
The VISUAL information? Well if you look at the pages, there were at LEAST 10 days in between publication. That’s plenty of time for the newspaper to find another VISUAL solution. Now I’m not advocating a certain number of appropriate days. That’s absolutely ludicrous. But TEN DAYS? I mean, come on …. How many American icons can one use? There are plenty if you go that route.
It’s an interesting discussion (and one I’m hoping ends soon, since I’m already a blog/message board addict and we can’t have two in a home with just one laptop), partly because designers often get inspiration from other newspapers and their designs. But was this a case of visual plagiarism? Or was the package credited to the AJC as a package that moved over the wires, much like KRT sends pre-made pages? I think only folks at the Daily Breeze can say…