One Word a Day ( lehrt jeden Tag ein neues Wort. Diesmal gefällt mir besonders gut: churnalism

„The use of ready-made press release material copied wholesale into a newspaper article as if it were the journalist. (Wordnik)“

Churnalism is a buzzword that blends „churn“ and „journalism,“ thus creating a portmanteau that refers to unoriginal journalism, which of course implies low quality. BBC journalist Waseem Zakir has been credited for coining the term when he said:

„You get copy coming in on the wires and reporters churn it out, processing stuff and maybe adding the odd local quote. It’s affecting every newsroom in the country and reporters are becoming churnalists.“

Although Zakir is said to have coined the expression, it first gained popularity with the publication of „Flat Earth News,“ a book by British journalist Nick Davies in which he cites a study claiming that more than 80 percent of British news articles are not original and that a mere 12 percent are actually written by journalists.

Whatever one wants to call re-writing existing press releases for publication under another name or masthead – some would call it plagiarism – the practice is not new. The difference is that today the practice has become more prevalent and much easier because of the ubiquity and speed of the Internet.

SMUGGLE OWAD into today’s conversation

„A lot of what I receive in my online newsreader is just churnalism.“

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