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Paul Berton: Is that radio newscaster simply reading the newspaper?

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I wrote last week about a serious journalistic sin: Plagiarism.

That's when writers pass off another's words or ideas as their own. It's a serious ethical breach.

Less serious, however, is the theft of information, which is done regularly by almost every news organization in the world.

In fact, information can't be stolen. Once it's out there, we all own it. Someone breaks a story, and others immediately write or broadcast their own version based on leads from the original.

Reporters painstakingly research an issue, investigate allegations, write a careful article, break news ... and as soon as it's published it's somehow free to anyone who comes across it.

Sometimes they are good enough to credit the originator; other times not so much. Sometimes these organizations add........

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