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Tribune paper in Connecticut sued for plagiarism

November 20, 2009

The Hartford Courant, a Tribune-owned newspaper covering the capital city and suburbs of Connecticut, is being sued by a smaller paper over a discontinued policy of news “aggregation.”

The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, Conn., filed the suit in state court, which alleges violation of copyright law and the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act, according to a story in the Journal Inquirer.

Massive layoffs at the Courant (and other Tribune papers) before and since last year’s bankruptcy filing left the paper short-staffed, so editors began grabbing stories from other area papers and republishing them on the Courant‘s web site. The paper did not attribute all the stories correctly, including some stories that appeared in the paper’s print edition. The Courant admitted it had plagiarized and apologized for the mistakes in September.

As if to illustrate the issues at hand, here is the AP version of the story (long, detailed, interviews with experts, parties to the suit).

-and the Courant version of the story (three paragraphs).

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