I’ve got some typical blogger biases; I think there are mainstream media guys out there who don’t know what they’re talking about, and often their criticisms of the blogosphere reflect not only jealousy but ignorance of how the whole thing works. That said, there are some pretty lousy bloggers out there.

In particular, places like Bleacher Report – who let anyone write articles – are particularly susceptible, as in today’s example (in the interest of full disclosure: I’ve done work for SBNation, a network that in some ways competes with Bleacher Report).

Let’s do a quick compare and contrast between two articles today: one written by Yahoo’s Greg Wyshynski, and one written by David Carter of Bleacher Report. We’ll start with paragraph four of Carter’s piece and paragraph two of Wyshynski’s column.

  • First comparison: Both mention the rookie race will pick up if the Avalanche and Rangers stay in contention.
  • Second comparison: Both break down Michael Del Zotto‘s numbers.
  • Third comparison: Both talk about Tavares’ situation.
  • Fourth comparison: Both discuss Victor Hedman.
  • Fifth comparison: Both discuss other rookies making an impact.
  • Sixth comparison: Both key in on Matt Duchene and Ryan O’Reilly.
  • Seventh comparison: Both wonder if Nikita Filatov and Nicklas Bergfors will ever do much.
  • Eight comparison: Both compare Semyon Varlamov and Jonas Gustavsson to Steve Mason.
  • Ninth comparison: Both talk about how difficult it is for a defenceman (with both citing Drew Doughty) to win the Calder Trophy, and both suggest it’s easier for goaltenders.

It’s plagiarism. Certainly Greg Wyshynski recognized it. It’s just sneaky enough to slip by whatever controls they have there, and pop up on Google’s News feed, but there’s no doubting what happened here. David Carter, the article’s author, is certainly guilty of plagiarism (and stupidity, since Puck Daddy has as many readers as anyone) but I think this incident also tells most everyone exactly how much faith they should put in Bleacher Report’s offerings.

Update: The article has now been removed by Bleacher Report. The cached version can be found here (g/t MLSE).

Comments (19)

  1. Yeah, it’s definitely not a surprise. There’s been a couple of prominent examples of writers leaving Bleacher Report because of becoming fed up with the frequent plagiarism.

    I don’t know if I’d say that SBN competes with B/R so much as is better than them in every way except their SEO which is what gives them their prominence.

  2. PPP:

    Competitiors for traffic, albeit not competitors in terms of quality.

  3. I used to write for B/r, and about the NHL no less, but like the much, much more talented writers before me (I’m looking at you, Alan Bass) I left because the content and credibility has gone to hell.

  4. DOWN WITH BLEACHER REPORT

  5. I saw the controversy growing, and thought I would do my duty as a citizen and hit the little “Report this article” icon at the bottom of the B/R article.

    Guess what! You have to sign up for B/R before it will let you report plagerism!

    There’s a business model for you…..

  6. Tom:

    I sent a request in for some comments and clarification of how Bleacher Report deals with this stuff, and pointed it out to them. I’m curious if I’ll get a reply or not.

  7. And thanks for letting me comment here without joining something. :)

    By the way, critical comments to the B/R article are disappearing about as fast as people can post them on B/R. Shameful.

  8. Ammend that…..Could be just a wacky website since the ones I recall reading are back now.

  9. Like Rynn, I too regularly wrote on B/R I too have refrained lately as the volume over quality issue has never been resolved. Alan left a scathing farewell to B/R a month ago.

    Anything I do contribute to B/R anymore comes off my blog feed.

    You can see that by the number of articles in their “top Writers”. Only a few “vets” remain.

    B/R seems to rely on the hits to make their $$$ with no compensation to writers anyways.

    CBS Sports and FoxSports need to seriously look into acknowledging B/R as a partner.

    More controlled sites like SBNation and the newer Fan Huddle, that I signed on to, only allow two writers per team. Better quality and no plagurism.

  10. I’m always surprised that I read or hear about citing anything they read on BR. As far as I’ve ever been concerned, it’s a glorified Google Blogs site that anyone can sign up at, pull up a pedestal and spew vitriol or play analyst.

  11. “Like Rynn, I too regularly wrote on B/R I too have refrained lately as the volume over quality issue has never been resolved. ”

    That is the same exact reason I left. Also…I had no more interest in having a 17 year-old “editor” critique my work when they, themselves, can’t string together a properly punctuated sentence.

  12. So I write for BR now and have had some things spotlighted – do I need to worry about a) reputation elsewhere or b) any othe rshady shenanigans? They’s seemed very upfront and on point to me so far.

  13. “I’m always surprised that I read or hear about citing anything they read on BR. As far as I’ve ever been concerned, it’s a glorified Google Blogs site that anyone can sign up at, pull up a pedestal and spew vitriol or play analyst.”

    Now, let’s give Bleacher Report some credit…if the story is about WWE or contains a lame slideshow, they are all about it!

    If you post some real news or, perhaps, an interview…NO ONE reads it. It is one of the most dumbed down sites there is.

    I’ll stop now before I puke.

  14. I have written a few articles on Bleacher Report, two of which were linked by Puck Daddy in the Puck Headlines. I do this as a way to get my foot in the door for my hopeful career in Journalism.

    Are my articles going to be completely overlooked now due to this morons inability to think for himself and lack of creativity or as long as it is well written i wont be at risk.

    If I am at risk does anyone know where I can blog about hockey just simply for the love of writing about the greatest sport?

    I just want to gain experience before I start my sports journalism school and now feel i may have chosen the wrong site to do it with.

  15. Hey Jonathan,

    Did anyone find this David Carter to see what he has to say about this?? I’d like to see him explain this. I don’t think he can.

    Sadly, I see plagiarism all over the place. It’s like people need to “put” something out there for the sake of doing it. More active is not better when your writing takes a hit for it. Lazy people are lazy people. But lazy writers, plagiarise. I call these people “Cut and Paster’s”. They are everywhere.

    I prefer to suck for being me rather than being a cut here, and a paste there type person.

  16. Ray:

    I have an email in.

  17. @RedWingFreak94

    You can start your own blogger or wordpress site or you can use the fanposts section of your team’s SBN site to get writing practice without having the stigma of B/R attached to it or having ‘editors’ mess with your piece.

  18. Something I just realized now about the quality of B/R: That’s where the ridiculous rumor of the “Zack Greinke to the Brewers” trade, which the author called “all but done.”
    (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/273811-zack-greinke-to-milwaukee-deal-all-but-done)
    Not great for business when your site makes its biggest news in the past month for plagiarism and what people called “the worst blog post I’ve even read.”
    I considered writing for them, myself, but didn’t really see the point in it, when I could write the exact same things for my own blog. I don’t really think anyone would put original content up there, when they could just as easily republish it from their site. What kind of business model is that?

  19. well if it wasn’t for me typing bleacher report in the yahoo search engine, then I never would have found your blog….you have something to thank them for haha

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