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Keep Houston Press Free
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Montgomery County -- Home To The Greatest Journalistic Scandal Ever?

It appears we may have a plagiarist in area. Well not just one, but an entire newspaper dedicated to ripping off stories.

That’s according to Slate’s Jody Rosen, who claims that a free weekly in Montgomery County, the Bulletin, stole portions of a story he’d written about Jimmy Buffet.

Rosen claims that Bulletin writer Mark Williams not only appropriated sections of Rosen’s story, but that the paper has published dozens of stories “that appear to be copied, whole or in part, from other periodicals.”

Rosen further writes that putting together a complete list of “suspect” stories published at the Bulletin “would require the services of a half-dozen unpaid interns.”

He apparently contacted the Bulletin’s publisher, Mike Ladyman, to air his concerns. Ladyman told Rosen he’d look into the matter, but then never got back to him. The result: Rosen’s five-page story in Slate.

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“With the exception of the local events listing,” Rosen writes, “every single item in the June 3-July 10 Bulletin is suspicious. Indeed, I wonder: In purely statistical terms, do the articles in the Montgomery County Bulletin amount to the greatest plagiarism scandal in the annals of American journalism?”

The story has started to spread all across the web, being picked up by both Gawker and Jim Romesko's journalism site. Tough publicity for the Bulletin.

We have the feeling there will be more on this one as it develops. Hopefully, whatever answers Rosen seeks won’t be plagiarized.

-- Chris Vogel

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