We don't copy news reports from other publications. It's a no-no in our business.
We simply don't do it.
As journalists, we can't. It's not right ethically and it's just plain bad practice.
This happens more than you think. People will phone in with a news tip and when you query for more information, the response is, "Just read the article that ran in (insert name of newspaper here)."
This has happened to me three times in the last month. With one person, trying to explain that I couldn't get information from another newspaper proved to be futile.
I get a little breathless when I have to repeat, repeat and repeat that I need first-hand information from the person I'm talking with.
What we (as individual journalists) lay down in print is our intellectual property. Once it goes to press, here, it's Daily Sun News' property.
It's wrong to steal from someone else. And by garnering information from articles in other papers, that's what we'd be doing.
It's called plagiarism. Not allowed, case closed!
So, if I call you and ask for information and the first thing that comes to mind is a news article from a different newspaper, I've got four words for you:
Don't even say it!
Instead, tell me the story, or send me merrily on my way to someone who can.