OLD Media Moves

Two Bloomberg stories a year apart with nearly identical leads

December 4, 2014

Posted by Chris Roush

Sony leadMore than a year ago, on Oct. 31, 2013, Bloomberg News reporters Mariko Yasu and Gracue Huang wrote a story about Sony Corp.

The lead was:

Sony (6758) Corp. President Kazuo Hirai is paying the price for trying to revive ailing TV and smartphone sales, with more than $2 billion of market value lost today, as his counterpart at Panasonic (6752) Corp. benefits from paring those units as it struggles to compete.

On Sept. 17, 2014, nearly a year later, Bloomberg News reporter Sonali Basak wrote a story about Sony.

Her lead was:

Sony Corp. (6758) is paying a price for clinging to smartphones and televisions while competitor Panasonic Corp. prospers after pulling back from those products sooner.

The two stories with extremely similar leads has caught the attention of some within Bloomberg. One emailed Talking Biz News and said, “It is plagiarism when different reporters at the same company write the same lede one year apart?”

And a former Bloomberg News reporter who was asked to review the two stories by Talking Biz News noted, “Typically for prerelease stories as you know you would look at the past coverage for the template.”

A Bloomberg News spokesman, however, said it’s  “a stretch” to call the second lead plagiarism and added, “We publish more than 5,000 stories per day and any similarity is coincidental. Suggesting otherwise ignores the context of the full stories that describe nearly identical circumstances around each year’s earnings.”

Talking Biz News makes no determination about whether the second lead is plagiarism and simply presents the leads and the comments to foster discussion on the matter.

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