(Update**) Mail Online, the Web site of British tabloid The Daily Mail, is notorious for unabashed plagiarism, stealing content from major market competitors and freelance journalists alike with abandon. (Plug “MailOnline” and “Plagiarism” into the Google search engine and see the dizzying results. Odd that Google rewards this unethical click bate tabloid with such stellar SEO positioning.)
Peruvians Times is one of its latest victims. We have sent the following letter of complaint.
Lima, April 30, 2015
To: Martin Clarke,
Publisher, Mail Online
Dear Mr. Clarke,
On April 28, 2015, MailOnline’s reporter Emily Payne plagiarized an exclusive analysis story published six days earlier in the Andean Air Mail & PERUVIAN TIMES about the 2015-2019 Machu Picchu Master Plan.
Ms. Payne very obviously copied every fact for her piece wholesale from our article without providing any attribution or credit to the source.
The piece also failed to include a customary URL backlink: http://www.peruviantimes.com/22/the-master-plan-machu-picchu-reconceptualized/24058/
Ms. Payne’s failure to independently verify the information while aping our story is obvious. This is evidenced by the following citation in her lede: “Machu Picchu’s plans £9 million makeover to cope with overcrowding (sic)”
She derived that £9 million figure using the conversion rate from the U.S. Dollar amount that appeared in our article.
If she had done any primary reporting or fact checking to verify the actual amount in Peruvian currency, she would have discovered the error in our author’s reporting.
Simply put, the figure your reporter led with while plagiarizing our story is wrong.
We have since published a correction of the amount that Peru plans to spend to carry out the infrastructure work called for in the 2015-2019 Machu Picchu Master Plan. If you would like to issue a correction of your own, the figure is about £27,192,990.
I would very much appreciate if you would amend Ms. Payne’s piece and credit Andean Air Mail & PERUVIAN TIMES. If not, I ask that you remove the story completely from your site and publish an apology.
Andean Air Mail & PERUVIAN TIMES
** Update: In response to our complaint, MailOnline did go back and cite Peruvian Times as a source and added two “nofollow” backlinks to our story. Its staff also made a hasty attempt at correcting the amount that Peru plans to spend to carry out the infrastructure work called for in the 2015-2019 Machu Picchu Master Plan. Rather than taking the time to find out the actual amount in Peruvian currency and then converting it to British Pounds, they simply made the calculation from the dollar figure in our story and converted that, inflating the amount by about £800,000.