Scottish NUJ drive against lifting published copy

By Hamish Mackay

The NUJ in Sotland has launched a drive to stop journalists’ age-old practice of journalists "lifting" stories already published and trying to sell them.

While freelance journalists have long complained of seeing their storis appear in another publication, often because an agency has simply lifted and resold it,, reporters on weekly newspapers are bcoming increasingly angry with the practice.

The NUJ has received two separate complaints of stories appearing in weekly newspapers being lifted and sold on.

It is an established part of the newspaper scene that local reporters try to sell their own stories to the nationals.

The NUJ is appealing to commissioning editors to determine the provenance of stories they are offered, by individual freelancers and agencies – simply to ask if the stories have been lifted.

"Newsdesks are massively busy, they are always up against time, but it doesn’t take long to ask how original the story is," says NUJ Scottish Organiser Paul Holleran.

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