11.16.07

Say It Ain’t So Dept. : A Dark Day For Bowling, Blogging About Bowling, And MSM Coverage Of Bowling (By Bloggers)

Posted in Sports Journalism at 10:24 am by

It took the San Antonio Express-News’ Bob Richter an awfully long time to get around to it in an editorial from last Saturday, but by the 16th paragraph of “Plagiarism cases a wake-up call for journalists in all media”, he managed to drop the bomb.

Veteran E-N sports staffer Harry Page was terminated last week for lifting information ” which he presented in his bowling blog as his own ” from two websites: www.bowl.com, the Web site of the U.S. Bowling Congress, and www.pbatour.com, the Professional Bowlers Association Tour Web site.

The plagiarized work appeared only on MySA.com and has been removed.

Page had worked in the sports department since April 19, 1970, and was one of the first people to greet me here when I joined the sports staff in 1978. I hate to see him go out like this, but, as Editor Robert Rivard told staff, the newspaper has “zero tolerance” for plagiarism.

(UPDATE : please check out the comments below. It would appear the Express-News has a rather loose definition of “plagiarism”)

25 Responses to “Say It Ain’t So Dept. : A Dark Day For Bowling, Blogging About Bowling, And MSM Coverage Of Bowling (By Bloggers)”

  1. B.M. Tease says:

    How can you plagiarize a “news release” through E-mail? As I’ve heard it, the writer took information from his E-mail and “NOT A WEBSITE” and gave credit to the organizations that sent him the E-mail — I believe they were bowl.com and pbatour.com. Hasn’t that newspaper learned that news release don’t come through the regular E-mail any more? This may be a “wake-up” call for bowling writers who get their information on E-mail. Where else are they going to get it? I think Mr. Page got “railroaded”, “jobbed”, “screwed”, “had”, etc., etc. It’s a most unfortunate, thankless and unfitting ending for what appears to be a loyal and dedicated worker for the San Antonio Express-News.
    Watch you back?

    BMT

  2. GC says:

    y’know, if I’ve done Mr. Page wrong by quoting his editor, I sincerely apologize. There’s not been much other info on this case and SA.com have removed Page’s previous entries from their archives.

    If Page did indeed attribute the organizations who sent him the press releases and identified the material as such, it’s hard to imagine why he’d be publicly charged with plagiarism by his former employer.

  3. Rosie Leutzinger says:

    After reviewing the documents regarding Harry Page’s dismissal from the San Antonio Express-News, it is in my opinion that Mr. Page did not plagiarize my work in his recent blogs.

    As a public relations manager, I create press releases and game recaps for the sole purpose of distributing information regarding the Professional Bowlers Association to national media outlets so that they can use the information in their news reports.

    Any time a media outlet uses the information in our press releases, it brings attention to the PBA which is our goal. If the information used is attributed back to the PBA then that is a bonus.

    It appears to me that Mr. Page did attribute quotes he used in his blog back to the PBA which is enough to satisfy me. I do not feel that he plagiarized the information in his blog. Instead, I feel that he used our press releases for exactly what they are intended to be used for.

    Rosie Leutzinger

  4. Jerry Schneider says:

    I reviewed the materials from Harry’s blog and we have no problem with how they are presented because it does appear that he gives credit to bowl.com and/or the writer of the article.

    Jerry Schneider
    USBC Communications

  5. GC says:

    Rose, Jerry, thanks for writing.

    All of this begs the question — what in blazes was Richter referring to?

  6. Linda says:

    THIS IS TERRIBLE (the fact that Harry has been terminated)!!! Now I’m SURE we will never hear any bowling news in San Antonio! Harry kept us informed – he was the only local journalist to report bowling activities, results, etc. Or…will the Express-News assign someone else to TRY to fill Mr. Page’s shoes?

  7. Joe Gennaro says:

    Something about the termination of sports staffer Harry Page at the San Antonio Express-News doesn’t add up. The guy is a longtime member of the Bowling Writers Association of America and he has earned numerous writing awards for his coverage of the sport for at least 30 years. I believe he was even selected national bowling writer of the year in the late 1980s. Any way, I would think the guy would know how to credit his sources.

  8. GC says:

    indeed, based on what’s been offered in this forum, there’s some missing piece to the puzzle. It would be very helpful if Mr. Page’s side of the story was available somewhere. Or, for that matter, if his editor had explicitly cited the alleged violation.

    I might call the Express-News and see what I can glean as there’s not been much about this on the net.

  9. Cynthia Luckey Davis says:

    GC,
    Here is the original story about Express-News sports staffer Harry Page’s dismissal that appeared ONLY on the Express-News/KENS-TV on-line source (Nov. 8). It never appeared in this form in the daily newspaper.

    Page, veteran sports staffer, dismissed
    Longtime Express-News sports staffer Harry Page was terminated Wednesday after editors confirmed he had plagiarized from other primary reporting sources at least five items from his bowling blog during the month of October.
    The termination is effective immediately. Page’s blog was removed from the MySA.com website Nov. 1. Page had worked in the Express-News Sports Department since April 19, 1970.
    “It’s a sad day when a newsroom colleague with so many, many years working at the Express-News has to leave under such a cloud, but the only way to deal with a plagiarist is with zero tolerance and an apology to readers,” Express-News Editor Robert Rivard said.
    An investigation into Page’s work was launched Oct. 30 after an editor discovered whole passages from a news release from bowl.com, the Web site of the United States Bowling Congress, were submitted by Page for his bowling blog.
    Subsequent examination found four additional items from Page’s blog had been plagiarized from bowl.com and pbatour.com, the latter the Web site of the Professional Bowlers Association Tour. The reports included:
    * “The $100,000 Rash,” an Oct. 28 report on pro bowler Steve Rash’s victory in the United States Bowling Congress Masters event at Milwaukee, Wis. The report on MySA.com was lifted from an Oct. 28 pbatour.com news release.
    * “USBC Master: Youth bowler successful,” an Oct. 27 item on the Page blog about teen bowler Jake Peters, was lifted from on Oct. 26 bowl.com report by Matt Cannizzaro of USBC communications.
    * “Dorrin-Ballard named to Team USA 2008″ appeared on Page’s blog as original work on Oct. 24, but Express-News editors determined it was taken largely from a bowl.com story Oct. 23 by Kevin Hazaert of USBC commuications. The story featured Texas professional bowler Carolyn Dorrin-Ballard.
    * And “Liz Johnson wins second U.S. Open title,” which appeared on Page’s bowling blog on MySA.com on Oct. 14, was taken from an Oct. 14 story on the bowl.com Web site by Lucas Wiseman of USBC communications.
    The San Antonio Express-News Professional Principles, drafted by a committee of Express-News journalists and agreed to by every working journalist at the newspaper, is quite specific about plagiarism:
    “Never plagiarize — the deliberate submission and/or usage of another’s words, images or graphics without attribution to the original source taints the credibility and reputation of the offender and the Express-News.”
    The San Antonio Express-News Publishing Co. and MySA.com apologize to their readers, to the authors of the original stories and to bowl.com and pbatour.com for the plagiarism.

    http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:RYO7xWK8D7UJ:blogs.mysanantonio.com/weblogs/richter/archives/2007/11/page_veteran_sp.html+Sports+staffer+Harry+Page&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us

    Now, GC, you can judge if Page really plagiarized his items on his bowling blog, which has been taken down for the Express-News. (The stories have been shortened).

    404 Object Not Found
    BowlingWhat’s going on in the alleys of San Antonio? Check back frequently to find out.
    October 28, 2007
    The $100,000 Rash
    2ND UPDATED
    (PBA LLC/Gregg Sabel photo)
    (If you missed the finals of the USBC Masters, the combined stories from USBC’s Lucas Wiseman and the PBA’s Rosie Leutzinger will put you in the middle of Milwaukee’s Miller Stadium)
    Wichita, Kan. bowler wins USBC Masters
    By Lucas Wiseman/Rosie Leutzinger (Combined stories)
    There are certain things in life that are guaranteed to happen, such as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. Sean Rash of Wichita, Kan., is trying to itch another certainty for the books as that’s not in a televised bowling finals. In his first championship round appearance in a Major and bowling for the first time in a baseball stadium, Rash showed there isn’t much that can faze him. The 25-year-old right-hander improved his career record in televised championship rounds to 7-0 and became just the second bowler to win a title in his first four TV appearances with a 269-245 win over Steve Jaros of Yorkville, Ill., to capture the 2007 United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Masters before 2,712 fans Sunday (Oct. 28) at Miller Park, the home of baseball’s Milwaukee Brewers, in Milwaukee, Wis.

    USBC Master: Youth bowler successful
    Bowl.com
    Wichita State freshman finishes in Top 24
    By Matt Cannizzaro (USBC Communications)
    Jake Peters of Decatur, Ill., stormed into the national spotlight and established himself as one of the top youth bowlers in the country with a win at the 2006 Teen Masters a little more than a year ago.Peters, an 18-years-old freshman at Wichita State University and an United States Bowling Congress Youth member, surprised many veterans by finishing in the top 24 at the 2007 USBC Masters in Wauwatosa, Wis.

    Dorin-Ballard named to Team USA 2008
    Texas resident one of seven women picked
    by USBC By Kevin Hazaert
    (USBC communications)
    Carolyn Dorin-Ballard of North Richland Hills and Wendy Macpherson of Henderson, Nev., will represent the United States for the first time as members of Team USA 2008.Dorin-Ballard, a New Jersey native, and Macpherson were one of the two announced selections by the United States Bowling Congress Wednesday from USBC headquarters in Greendale, Wis.Also added to Team USA 2008 were Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y.; Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., Kim Terrell of Antoich, Calif.; Diandra Asbaty of Chicago, Ill.; and Missy Bellinder and Fullerton, Calif. A USBC committee selected the seven from the pool of players that included Team USA members since 1998 and former Professional Women’s Bowling Association/Ladies Professional Bowlers Tour members.

    http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:XiyAstd00WIJ:blogs.mysanantonio.com/weblogs/bowling/+%22USBC+Master:+Youth+bowler%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=5&gl=ushttp://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:XiyAstd00WIJ:blogs.mysanantonio.com/weblogs/bowling/+%22USBC+Master:+Youth+bowler%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=5&gl=us

    From Google search “USBC Master: Youth bowler”
    http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:XiyAstd00WIJ:blogs.mysanantonio.com/weblogs/bowling/+%22USBC+Master:+Youth+bowler%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=5&gl=us

    October 14, 2007
    Liz Johnson wins second U.S. Open title
    Both Barnes and Dorin-Ballard fall in semifinals bowl.com
    By Lucas Wiseman (USBC communications)
    Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., earned the top prize of $25,000 by downing Team USA’s Shannon O’Keefe of Rochester, N.Y., 248-215, in the finals of the United States Bowling Congress’ (USBC) 2007 U.S. Women’s Open Sunday (Oct. 14) at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev.
    “Once I stepped out on the lanes, I felt aggressive and focused,” Johnson told USBC communications officials. “I really haven’t felt that good in a very long time and I think it showed on the lanes today (Sunday).

    http://blogs.mysanantonio.com/weblogs/bowling/archives/2007/10/liz_johnson_win_1.html

    I’ve heard of putting an old horse out to pasture, but to do it with this seemingly wrongful accusations seems so unfair.

  10. GC says:

    Dear Cynthia,

    Thanks very much for this. I intend to solicit a quote from Rivard. Assuming those were the same passages for which Page lost his job, the plagiarism claims aren’t merely exaggerated but are completely inaccurate. If Page attributed the work to the authors and organizations involved, where’s the theft?

    If the Express-News has a policy disallowing the use of press releases, attributed or not, in their blogs, that’s certainly their right. But that’s hardly plagiarism, no more so than the paper publishing something from one of the wire services and crediting it as such.

  11. A.C. Williams says:

    To whom it may concern: I was a frequent visitor to the Bowling Blog on the mysanantonio.website, and, as far as I notice, Express-News sports staffer Harry Page did credit where his sources came from. The names of the original authors and sources were on the stories in questioned when the site was brought down. So what is the problem? Where is the plagiarism?

  12. Gail Cantu says:

    Here’s some fruit for thought that may or may not shine a light on what happened to Express-News sports staffer Harry Page. In a column by Bob Richter in the Express-News, Nov. 18, entitled “E-N looking for readers’ help with revamped ethic policy”, he writes, concerning ethics — (Bob) Rivard later suggested we expand our purview to look at journalistic standards here as well. So at this point we’ve split into three groups: one solely covering the political issue; one studying what we call “new media,” i.e., blogging, video reports, slide shows and other journalism associated with the Internet; and, lastly, the standards reforms. We hope to have a new document in place by the end of the year.

    So did the Express-News have an on-line ethics policy for bloggers in place at the time of Page’s dismissal? Richter applauded 14 journalist who ended their careers by accepted a Hearst Corporation buyout (it was next to the last graph of the column). It seems that Page didn’t accept except. Instead, he was investigated for plagiarism and ultimately kicked out. Interesting, isn’t it. We certainly miss his coverage of bowling.

  13. stuart trueblood says:

    Is the San Antonio Expresss-News trying to destroy this writer’s dignity, respect and honor? It wouldn’t allow him the decency to retire gracefully. From what I’ve read, heard and know, this writer had been a well-respected icon in San Antonio before these bogus charges put a damper on all his accomplishments. It really isn’t right and very unfair to his legacy. Hopefully, Harry Page will be eventually exonerated.

  14. Gloria Brown says:

    Judging the evidence on this platform, it appears another corporate giant has constructed an unjust hoax to terminate and degrade the integrity of a veteran journalist. I hope that this newspaper will be held accountable for their actions.

  15. stuart trueblood says:

    this all sounds like the express wants to get rid of someone with out haveing the bottle to do do it man to man they have made something stupid up against harry page just looking at all the comments above must make the paper think what have we done apart from trash some ones life so who ever suggested the way to get rid off harry will probabley be sacked now try being a bigger man or woman and admit you messed up stuart reading what you have done from england good luck harry and family thinking of you

  16. stuart trueblood says:

    why have you changed what i hadwritten about harry page

  17. GC says:

    Not sure what change you are referring to, Stuart. You might’ve had a post deleted as it seemed as though you’d posted the same item 2 or 3 times (we have filter in place that prevents spammers and dick-pill merchants from flooding the comments). I apologize if something relevant was lost, but it is entirely likely I approved one brief comment rather than leave 3 or 4 in a row up.

  18. Anderson Columbus says:

    This is not bad for a so-called plagiarist — even the Bowling Writers Association of America knows the difference and the truth.

    2008 BWAA Hall of Fame Candidates
    Presented for distinguished contributions to print, broadcast, telecast or photographic bowling
    coverage among BWAA members. Electees become BWAA Hall of Fame members.
    HARRY PAGE: Worked for the San Antonio Express-News as a sports writer from 1970 to Nov.
    7, 2007. Member of the San Antonio Bowling Council Hall of Fame. BWAA member for 30 years
    and a former director. He has earned more than 40 awards, plaques and certificates for his 29 years
    of bowling coverage and his bowling blog for two years.
    JERI EDWARDS: For almost 20 years she has written instruction bowling columns for bowling
    publications and magazines. Jeri is a writer for the My Bowling Coach website. She also has
    excelled at every level of coaching, especially as head coach of Junior Team USA and Team USA.
    She won one professional bowling title.
    HENRY FANKHAUSER: Began a daily column for the Washington D.C. Daily News in 1954.
    Retired now, he still writes for various papers including the Nations Capitol association
    publication. He wrote for the Prince George and Montgomery Journal newspapers in Maryland.
    Did color for D.C. first tv show and created Bowlers Night at Laurel Raceway and RFK Stadium.
    BOB JOHNSON: After serving as international editor for Bowlers Journal International, Bob this
    year was promoted to editor of BJI. Authors Bowler Journal International’s BJ Plus. Has written for
    magazines and bowling publications for more than 25 years while winning many major writing
    awards. Continues his popular BJI column, voicing opinions and suggestions to better the industry.
    CONNIE MARCHIONE: First covered bowling tournaments in the late 1940s for the Cavalier, a
    monthly publication for the deaf. He helped start the Motor City Deaf Bulletin and also the Pacific
    Coast Deaf Bowling Newsletter. Co-founded the Deaf Bowler Magazine and wrote a regular
    column. Has won numerous awards for articles on deaf bowlers since he started writing in 1973.
    DAN McDONOUGH: For 40 years Dan has been an important part of the world of bowling as a
    writer, editor, publisher, photographer and historian at every level. He currently owns and operates
    the Sports Reporter in the New York area. He has been elected to three bowling halls of fame and
    has won awards for his writing and photo endeavors.
    LYDIA RYPCINSKI: A bowling writer/photographer/promoter for 30 years in the United States
    and 21 countries. She also has been international editor for Bowlers Journal, media director for
    PWBA and media coordinator of World Cup. Currently lead writer for coverage of the Chicago
    Sun-Times annual charity event Beat the Champions.
    LYLE ZIKES: Former BWAA president and PBA press director. Frequent contributor to Bowlers
    Journal International. Bowling writer for the Daily Herald in Illinois. USA Bowling Coaches
    Council member. Chaired BWAA future Task Force committee. Current BWAA board member.

    Thanks, A.C.

  19. A.C. Williams says:

    Unfortunately, the termination must had some effects on the BWAA Hall of Fame voters. The veteran Page wasn’t selected — Lyle Zikes got the honor.

  20. Cynthia Luckey Davis says:

    Do the editors at the San Antonio Express-News really know the definition of plagiarism? Read the following story and see where this paper had to recant its charges against some local UTSA students. Sometimes “sorry” and “an apology” just doesn’t heal the wounds.

    http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/education/stories/MYSA040808.utsahonorcode.kens.459e31be.html

  21. Sallie Moore says:

    To whom it may concern: Judging from what I viewed on the following website, it appears that this writer didn’t get a fair shake from his employer.

    http://blogs.mysanantonio.com/weblogs/bowling/

    It looks like the newspaper didn’t get the facts right and unfairly mislabled the accused. If they wanted him to leave or retire, maybe they should have asked him without damaging his reputation.

  22. Johnny C. says:

    Here’s where I have a problem with what the EN did to Harry: the phrase “which he presented in his bowling blog as his own.”
    Having seen what was posted, what was attributed and to whom, and seeing that the original authors had no problem with the way
    Harry presented it in his blog, what the paper wrote was a lie. Harry didn’t present the stie “as his own.” He gave proper credit
    to the writers.
    That being said, of course he got “jobbed,” because he wouldn’t take the retirement deal So it turned into a witch hunt.
    When I heard about it, I was crushed. I’ve know Harry since we worked for competing newspapers in the Alamo City, and always
    respected how he handled his craft.
    What the paper did to him cannot be undone, no matter what is written here.
    The mighty newspaper got away with it, and a good friend was taken down by “the man.”
    It was a sad day for bowling when one of its best writers was taken out of commission. He will be missed, not only for his contributions
    to the sport, but for being a great friend to so many people involved.

  23. E. Columbus says:

    It looks like this individual is fighting back against these alledged charges. I wish him success against this big corporation.

    http://www.courthousenews.com/2008/05/06/Reporter_Says_Express-News_Defamed_Him_With_False_Accusations_Of_Plagiarism.htm

    Reporter Says Express-News Defamed Him
    With False Accusations Of Plagiarism
    SAN ANTONIO (CN) – The San Antonio Express-News fired and defamed a longtime reporter on false accusations of plagiarism, Harry Page claims in Bexar County Court.
    Page claims that after he refused to participate in a “voluntary separation program” in October 2007, the Express-News concocted false plagiarism charges, and published them, to dump him.
    He claims the newspaper, and three of its top editors, defamed him by publishing, falsely, that he “confirmed he had plagiarized.”
    Page says he did not plagiarize. The allegedly plagiarized items were five items in a blog; Page says all of them “included attribution to the original sources.”
    Page says the accusations are false, defamatory and will make it virtually impossible for him to find work elsewhere in journalism. He also sued Hearst Newspaper, the parent chain.
    He is represented by Darryl Carter with Glickman Hughes.
    (The complaint made available to Courthouse News ends at page 4; CNS will post a link to the complete complaint when it becomes available.)

  24. Just for an update:

    I had no idea about this situation with Mr. Page. By chance I got to talk to him today and we briefly talked about his old job. I decided to google him and found this page.

    Just for those who are curious, Mr. Page did fight back and has settled. I wish him well, he sounded like a good guy.

  25. A.C. Williams says:

    Hallelujah!! There is some justice in the world. I’m excited that bowling writer Harry Page was able to fight back and earn a settlement judgment from the Express-News. He really deserves it. What the paper did to him was wrong — no doubt about it. Kudos to Page and his legal staff.

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