Churnalism US is a new web tool and browser extension that allows anyone to compare the news you read against existing content to uncover possible instances of plagiarism. It is a joint project with the Media Standards Trust.
Simply feed in a link or block of text to the Churnalism site or let the browser extension run in the background to notify you of any matches of text from Churnalism’s cache of documents. They include most articles in Wikipedia, press releases from PR Newswire, PR News Web, EurekaAlert!, congressional leadership offices, the White House, a sampling of Fortune 500 companies, prominent philanthropic foundations and much more. The browser extension available for Chrome, Internet Explorer and Firefox (full approval pending) allows Churnalism to extract article text from a whitelist of common news sites and lets you know when something you’re reading may be copied from another source. It’s a rare occurrence, but it’s not unprecedented. Just last week Tom Lee, a noted Churnalism beta tester and Sunlight Labs Director, found through Churnalism that Reuters’ prematurely published obituary of still-alive-human George Soros borrowed heavily from the collection of quotes on his Wikipedia page.
To mark World Press Freedom Day, May 3, the Committee to Protect Journalists is examining the 10 prevailing tactics of online oppression worldwide and the countries that have taken the lead in their use. What is most surprising about these Online Oppressors is not who they are—they are all nations with long records of repression—but how swiftly they adapted old strategies to the online world.