The news aggregator site and pro-Medjugorje wind machine Ministry Values, which does not claim to be a Catholic site, presented a story today with the byline of Stephen Ryan and the headline “Vatican Hammers Conservative Catholic Bloggers”, about lay Catholics using their Internet writings to prod Church officials for reform. It also presented some cautionary words from other sources, including remarks by Abp. Celli from the Pontifical Council on Social Communications.
But while “author” Stephen Ryan was quoting a Vatican official about the ethics of social communications, he showed his own distinctive Internet-based writing technique, which could be summed up in the words “copy and paste”.
Paragraph 1 of Ryan’s story is copied from an AP story:
http://dailyme.com/story/2011012400000064/pope-catholics-online-hits.html (para. 5)
Paragraph 2 is from a column by Fr. James Martin, SJ, in America magazine:
http://www.americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?entry_id=3447 (para. 1)
Paragraph 3 is taken from another AP story, with some added words:
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/10/25/catholic-bloggers-aim-purge-dissenters/ (para. 1-2)
Further material comes from this AP story:
If you use scissors and paste, and cobble together a web page from other people’s copied words, without attribution, is it ethical?
[UPDATE: 1/25: Creative Minority Report has responded to the same dodgy article. The CMR piece and the ensuing comments produced an amazing display of upset on Mr. Ryan’s part, to the point where he indicated a wish to punch me in the nose! Poor man! Perhaps that falls into the category of “bad fruits of Medjugorje”.]