TV Blackbox lifts formatting from TV Central to cut publication times – The world of television blogging is a fun experience, but involves a lot of hard work. Much of the content comes from media releases from the commercial networks, public broadcasters, streaming platforms and the wider media community.

At TV Central, I produce more daily content than any other television blog in Australia. Since the soft launch in October last year, I have produced over 2500 published pieces. That figure does not include the television guides, that are manually produced for all markets, so that amendments can be added and the guide remain up to date.

TV Central has over 100 podcasts on the site with 37 produced so far this year already.

In some cases, even though the each blog will produce the same content, formatting for posts can take up to an hour.

Take the monthly streaming highlights and in this example the ABC iview highlights found HERE

The highlights do not copy and paste very easily and images have to be added, formatting re organised and design played with to produce what you see on the site.

In this example, TV Blackbox Co-Editor Kevin Perry, instead of working on the media release from scratch, has literally clicked on TV Central’s post and copied and pasted the formatting and published on TV Blackbox. The required amount of work to produce the content is reduced from 1 hour to a few mere minutes.

It is important to note that the content itself is not an issue – it is freely available to all media, so the information will appear the same on various platforms. However, the time and care taken to produce the content is something unique to each outlet.

This is not the first time Co-Editor at TV Blackbox, Kevin Perry has done this. There have been other months where streaming platform releases have been copied and pasted from TV Central to save time.

Earlier this year, I produced a full first week 7Bravo guide for readers found HERE. The title and times of programs were made available to all outlets, however, the episode number, episode count and other details were not made available by Seven. To produce this information, I spent around 2 hours collating information from researching the internet and gathering further information from the team at Seven, so that readers would have a deeper understanding of the schedule. Kevin Perry, once again copied and pasted the information, including one particular show where I accidently had the wrong details – the same incorrect details appearing on TV Blackbox.

To avoid writing an article like this, I reached out to TV Blackbox on two occasions to ask them to cease this practice. No response was given to me from Kevin Perry, nor other co-editors Steve Molk and Rob McKnight.

This simple request was to cease copying posts from TV Central and either pasting in full or pasting and making alterations to make it look like its not copied and pasted.

I did receive a response from Kevin Perry in relation to doing this article about the lifting of formatting from TV Central but instead received a reply which completely failed to address the issue at all. Instead of ceasing the coping and pasting and avoiding this story altogether or addressing the issue, Kevin sought to deflect this issue by providing this comment:

“TV Blackbox takes matters of plagiarism and attribution seriously and is pleased to learn TV Central adheres to the same values. We are however somewhat confused by the publication of 28 articles, including full text, headlines and images on the TV Central website, which appear to be an identical copy of content originally published on another mainstream media outlet. We look forward to seeing TV Central clarify this matter by providing appropriate acknowledgment for media writer Lauren Attard, the original author of these 28 articles. Should TV Central’s editor have any issue identifying this misappropriated content, we can helpfully provide a complete list of urls and screenshots.”

Although this quote does not address the issue at all, I am happy to respond. The articles mentioned in the quote refer to the MAFS recaps posted on TV Central after each episode.

Nine Publicity did not provide episode recaps as per other shows such as Farmer Wants a Wife and I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. I contacted Nine in relation to the recaps and the use of the recaps from nine.com.au instead. Recaps produced by networks (such as Farmer Wants a Wife) are not credited to any individual publicist or journalist and I continued that practice with the MAFS recaps. Nine Publicity, Nine Corporate Communications, nor Lauren Attard communicated with me any issues. However, I am always open to learning and in retrospect, Lauren should have been credited with these recaps as they were not directly from publicity and will make that more clear in the future.

To produce monthly streaming reports, news items, TV guides, podcasts and ratings, it takes approximately 50 hours per week. To use my site to produce the same content at a fraction of the time lacks both integrity and professionalism.

All blogs and media websites have sources for publication, but using the formatting of other sites to reduce one’s own workload should not be a way of the future and I do hope this practice ceases.

TV Central