South-west papers in copying spat

Copied: the Mercury

The managing editor of the Weston & Somerset Mercury Judi Kisiel has accused the Bristol Evening Post of copying stories from her weekly paper.

Kisiel claims the Evening Post lifted stories over a number of weeks.

According to Kisiel, someone whose quotes had been repeated in the Evening Post called the Mercury to complain they hadn’t spoken to the evening paper, believing that the Mercury must have passed them over.

Kisiel sent a letter of complaint to Evening Post editor Mike Lowe. She asked for an apology over the lifting of a story by reporter Vicki FitzGerald and an assurance that lifting would not happen again.

Lowe’s deputy, Stan Szecowka, replied in a letter: “I would like to apologise for the Weston Mercury scooping the Evening Post. It happens so rarely I can only assume Vicki’s reaction was one of shock. On a serious note, I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Kisiel told Press Gazette : “The Evening Post should scoop the Mercury five days a week but rarely does. It might be an interesting exercise for the editor to find one story that we have lifted from them at any time this year.”

Lowe said: “It’s pathetic and they want to grow up.”

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