Daily Star sell story

Daily Star gets round copyright issue…

Rip off Daily Star won’t take no for an answer…

Daily Star has a terrible habit of ripping copy off” admits their OWN writer.

UpDATE: Since writing the original story about how the Daily Star’s Sarah Buchanan nicked a story and passed it off as her own on the Daily Star website – see below –  the paper has lifted yet another story.

‘Journalist’ Tammy Hughes at the Daily Star copied my piece, which appeared legitimately on another website and even pinched a photo off another website to print in the paper.

What’s more astonishing is Tammy Hughes even admits the Daily Star steals stories – and tells me how she rewrote my story when asked to by news editor Tom Hutchison.

Tammy – who says she is a freelancer who did a shift for the Daily Star the day my story appeared in another paper – says she did not question it when she was given my piece to dumb down for the Daily Star.  Tammy admits in an email to me: “The Star do have a habit of ripping off copy,” while proudly boasting, “although thankfully it’s never happened to me.”

I have now raised yet another complaint after the story of mine which Tammy ripped off for the Daily Star, was actually printed in the Daily Star newspaper. Quotes, details and a copyrighted photo were all blatantly lifted and Tammy then shamelessly stuck her own byline on the top of it.

The sort of journalist and newspaper that brings the whole industry into disrepute.

I have made a complaint about this story which was not only illegally published online but also in the newspaper.

Are you a journalist whose copy has been ripped off by the Daily Star? Have copyrighted photos been lifted from other papers by the Daily Star’s ‘reporters’. Contact me and I will highlight it on this page.

Daily Star sell story
InsensitiveDaily Star plagiarises whole story and passes it off as its own

Daily Star plagiarises whole story and passes it off as its own

Meanwhile, here is how another story of mine was simply copied and pasted it onto the Daily Star website its ‘journalist’ Sarah Buchanan who as Tammy did, brazenly put her own byline on it…

Two days ago I received an email from the Daily Star online – could they run a story of mine about an interviewee of mine, a man with a womb.

This story has previously appeared in two other national newspapers. But as the interviewee has other deals lined up, I politely said no, adding that when there is a new update I will get back in touch.

Clearly though just saying no to the Daily Star doesn’t mean they won’t print the story. Because lo and behold, Daily Star reporter Sarah Buchanan simply went and copied the whole story from a website where it was legitimately printed – and copied it word for word.

Worse the Daily Star added it’s own made up quotes: ” ‘Am I going to die’. No mate, but you have got a womb, periods and PMT” the story fabricates, along with personal photos it has lifted from the interviewee’s social media websites.

Cue a very upset interviewee on the phone to me – just how did their very personal story get on this Daily Star website…?

As discussed before on this website, fair usage laws in the UK do allow websites to precis what a story is about. But this can only amount to a few short paragraphs at best and then legally the source of the story must be credited as must be the author.

This story on the Daily Star website which Sarah Buchanan has stuck her byline on, even though she just copied and pasted it and added nothing to it whatsoever, amounts to over 700 words, many of them quotes – so this can hardly be defended as ‘fair usage’. And also it does not comply with fair usage rules as neither the source, nor the author is credited.

Clearly Sarah Buchanan never bothered to check the story out either – something you must always do as a journalist. For example, what if there is a complaint over the original story? What if the person in the story has died and then you go printing it all over again…

Bizarrely however, when I rang up to complain I was simply told ‘we would love to work with you – it’s a shame as this isn’t a good start.’

Funny that – why I don’t send stories to the Daily Star. Maybe it’s because I could not put any of my interviewee’s personal real-life stories in a paper that is so insensitive, appears to make up quotes and in my opinion, flouts the law to boot.

Why the Daily Star believes nicking my story is a good way to get an agent like myself to send them stuff, I have no idea.

If they want to improve their circulation – it recently suffered a whopping 13% fall and now just sells 425,000 copies a day (while Google rarely brings up the Daily Star website in any sort of search) – then the way to do it is to honestly source more exclusives.

When a couple of days ago I politely told the Daily Star they couldn’t have the copy, I added that I envisaged there would be an update on the story and maybe they could run the story then.

Well, obviously they won’t be getting any update now! Way to go Daily Star – be the last to print the story and then annoy the real-life agent you would love to get stories from, by nicking her copy instead…

PS) Note to the byline bandit aka Sarah Buchanan – lifting other peoples’ copy and sticking your own name on it isn’t journalism, it is just theft … and if you have anything about you, you should refuse to do it.

Update: The offending page has now been removed from the Daily Star website.

Alison Smith-Squire

Alison Smith-Squire is a writer, journalist and media agent selling exclusive real life stories to newspapers, magazines and TV. She owns the sell my story website Featureworld.co.uk, which was set up to help ordinary people sell their stories to the press.

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