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Investigation called in Sentinel plagiarism; 81 of 84 cartoons found to be copies; paper owner: ‘meh’

My headline is wordy, but there are several updates to the The Montgomery Sentinel cartoon plagiarism case since it was first revealed three weeks ago. Tom Moore, the city councilman who brought attention to the issue, wrote the paper’s owner hoping that perhaps if he went high enough into the paper’s chain of command, that someone would take responsibility. He received a response alright, but it was more on the lines of ‘meh, move on buddy’. You can read his report of the interaction on his blog.

Meanwhile, Tom also posted 84 of the cartoons that ran and asked for crowdsourcing help to find out how many of them were stolen from the internet. Surprise, surprise, surprise. 81 of the 84 are stolen, and my guess is we just haven’t found the other three online yet. You can check to see if one of your cartoons were used. Only four cartoons have had the original artist identified.

Correction: 34 cartoons have matched to both the artist and the specific cartoon. Four other cartoons have been identified based on cartoonist’s artistic style, but the specific cartoon hasn’t yet been identified.

And lastly, Tom has called for an third-party to investigate the issue as management is clearly taking their advice to Tom seriously – they’re quickly trying to “move on.” Tom is demanding:

The Montgomery County Sentinel has committed a serious breach of public trust in publishing brazenly plagiarized cartoons week after week for several years. The management of Sentinel Newspapers should restore the public’s trust by (a) appointing a neutral third party to investigate the actions of the Sentinel?s editorial staff in the matter of its serial cartoon plagiarism and (b) releasing a public report detailing its findings.

Head over to Change.org to add your name to the petition.

Honestly, we’re dealing with a newspaper that doesn’t have any integrity, so I’m not sure what any of these efforts will actually do, but we shouldn’t just move on and forget this just because the paper is unwilling to uphold basic journalistic principles. Please, scroll through the 84 cartoons and if you see one of yours, sign the petition and contact the newspaper’s owner and demand a response.

Community Comments

#1 Clay Jones
June/23/2015
@ 2:15 pm

After scrolling (very quickly) through that collection it’s obvious to me that an editor is doing the stealing and photoshop work here. No cartoonist, not even the worst of us, would use that many labels. Also the “artist” has zero artistic ability. I don’t mean he’s bad or sloppy, I mean he has zero ability.
It’s my opinion, but I believe the perpetrator is the same guy who wrote the newspaper’s apology.

Weeks ago I talked to two press associations this newspaper is affiliated with (to get a third party) and neither wants to be involved.

#2 Terry LaBan
June/24/2015
@ 7:43 am

Dozens of cartoons, all in different styles, many by well-known cartoonists, crudely altered to comment on local issues? These guys weren’t even TRYING to hide what they were doing! The fact that this went on for so long is an indication of how little attention gets paid to political cartoons to begin with. Depressing all around.

#3 Hagen Cartoons
June/26/2015
@ 12:19 am

Interesting, they’ve plagiarised one of my very early cartoon… Not sure what to do about this…

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