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Did a Recent WBZ Report Lack Proper Attribution?

A recent report from WBZ, the CBS O&O in Boston, was the subject of a “Beat the Press” panel this weekend on WGBH, Boston’s public television station.

The report in question was an investigation of private businesses freeloading off public land by WBZ reporter Joe Shortsleeve (watch inside). Colman Herman, a contributing writer for CommonWealth magazine, wrote about the same topic in a series of articles that were published earlier this year. The WBZ report made no mention of Herman’s reporting, despite the fact that both reports cited the same problematic leases as evidence.

“I watched it, and it was a complete and total blatant ripoff,” Herman told WGBH reporter Adam Reilly. “That piece took me 14 months to research and write. And he just comes along and blatantly rips it off.”

In a statement to WGBH, WBZ said Shortsleeve’s investigation “brought to light information that had not previously been reported by any of the other news outlets that have covered this topic.” Watch the WBZ report here…

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