Non-AAN-Member, Non-Alt-Weekly Busted in Plagiarism Scandal

august 7, 2008  08:16 pm
Slate's Jody Rosen yesterday published a lengthy investigation of the Bulletin, demonstrating that the Montgomery County, Texas newspaper that he called "a free alternative weekly" was filled with plagiarized content. (Most of the purloined content Rosen found was lifted from national sources like Slate and Salon, but one of the stolen pieces was originally published in the AAN member Dallas Observer.) Despite that fact that its only local content was comprised of rewritten press releases on issues like "A Weekend With The Kidz: Big Fun For Good Causes In Downtown Conroe," Rosen can be excused for mistaking the corrupt paper for an alt-weekly because it is a free-circulation tabloid that bills itself as the county's "weekly alternative" and, as he noted, "(l)ike many alt weeklies, the paper's bread-and-butter is politics." Rosen also reported that the paper's masthead "reveals that the Bulletin is part of the Alternative Weekly Network." AWN executive director Mark Hanzlik explains here that the Bulletin is not an AWN member, although the network has in the past placed ads with the paper.