My eldest daughter is a journalist, just starting out on her career on a local newspaper. Yesterday, a news agency picked up an article she had written and it was sold on, first to a large regional paper and, then, to a National tabloid. Her article appeared in today’s Daily Star, under someone else’s name.
How can that be?
Well, under UK Copyright law, if you are a freelance journo, you own the copyright and anyone who uses your work has to credit you, or else... If you work for a company, whatever you write belongs to them. They can do with it as they see fit, after all they were paying you to write it. Now, I don’t have a problem with that, surprisingly. What I do have a problem with is that someone can claim credit for something they didn’t write. That’s wrong.
However, it is the way it is and it is unlikely to change. Probably, in years to come, my daughter’s name will appear next to articles that were originally written by some talented young reporter on some small local paper. It’s called life and, sometimes, it isn’t fair. I still think that they should be forced to credit the original writer though
However, for the record, Barry Smyth of the Daily Star, whose name appears next to my daughter’s piece, didn’t write the article, my little girl, Lauren, did.