Did AOL's Patch Take Content Again -- This Time From An NBC Los Angeles Story About Sand Replenishment In Venice?

Updated after the jump with reaction from Patch's Venice editor. First posted at 7:07 a.m.

We reported recently on a couple of instances in which Patch, AOL's new network of hyper-local news sites, has been caught stealing content.

We recently came across another case of questionable use of content by Patch:

In a report this week on a $1.6 million plan to replenish sand along the Venice coast, Patch's Venice site posted a story under the name of one its local authors that mirrored -- word-for-word -- a City News Service story on the sand that ran at nbclosangeles.com. Click that link then compare for yourself:

Here's a screen shot of an earlier version of Venice Patch's story on sand in Venice.
Here's a screen shot of an earlier version of Venice Patch's story on sand in Venice.

Checking back, we noticed that Patch remixed the story so that it's not a word-for-word biting of the CNS/NBC piece:

Venice Patch appeared to have changed the wording of its Venice sand story.
Venice Patch appeared to have changed the wording of its Venice sand story.

Now, it's possible that Patch subscribes to City News Service, as does the Weekly and a lot of local outlets. If so, a reporter shouldn't just put her name on top of wire copy without explaining at some point where it came from.

Even the remixed version takes content -- including information from William Fujioka, the county's chief executive officer -- from CNS without really crediting it.

The Fujioka-attributed fact that the new sand will "provide a buffer to protect inland structures from coastal storm flooding and damage" remains in the remixed version of the Patch story without credit regarding where it came from.

Where else did they get the exact same info CNS and NBC had?

Another case of Patch plagiarism? What do you think? Comment below or tell Patch West Coast editorial director Marcia Parker in person. She'll be in town Thursday to speak at a Los Angeles Press Club event.

Update: Patch's Venice editor, Samantha Page, weighed in via the comments section below, saying that the site does indeed subscribe to City News Service and that she posted CNS wire copy:

"My job is to provide news for the Venice community. In doing so, I am lucky to have access to City News Service, which helps me report stories that directly affect us in the most timely and efficient way possible," she said.

She didn't, however, explain why the copy was used under a byline without telling folks that the info actually came from a wire service.

Before we posted this story, we quickly scanned Patch's local coverage could not come up with instances of the site having used CNS copy for other stories, though it's possible.


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >