Plagiarism is surprisingly much more common than you think in the journalistic world, but this is one of the most glaring examples we’ve seen in a long time.

Runner’s World’s Mark Remy posted an article on May 6th entitled “Ask a Guy Who Thinks Runners Should Shut Up.”  It’s supposed to be a light-hearted faux Q&A with a cranky person who hates runners.  It’s a funny and clever idea with just one caveat – it came entirely from somewhere else.

On May 1st, The 700 Level (now located at CSN Philly’s website) posted an article entitled, “A message to runners everywhere: shutttttt uppppppp.”  Runners World lifted entire passages from the piece to masquerade as their “guy who thinks runners should shut up.”  And while Remy seems to have penned the questions, all of the responses come word for word from The 700 Level.

Examples via screenshots, because we expect the Runner’s World article to be taken down once word of the obvious plagiarism spreads (with a tip of the cap to Dan Levy for bringing it to our attention)…

The 700 Level:

7001

Runner’s World:

RW1

The 700 Level:

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 11.26.22 AM

Runner’s World:

RW2

The 700 Level:

7003

Runner’s World:

RW3

The 700 Level:

7004

Runner’s World:

RW4

That is just appalling, especially from a publication that is circulated around the world.  To make it all the more absurd, the article begins with the sentence, “with apologies to The Onion” as if it were already mimicking work done elsewhere.  This is much more than that, though.  They didn’t even try to hide how blatant this was – simply copying word for word with the same caps, the same punctuation, the same everything!

Runner’s World dubs itself as the world’s leading running magazine, now it’s earned the title of the world’s leading plagiarism example this year in sports media.

Update: Runner’s World hasn’t taken down the article yet, but they expanded a link back to The 700 Level in the last paragraph of text to mention the article and author by name in an attempt to save face.  You can view the updated version here.

Runner’s World seems content to frame this as a “response” even though The 700 Level was never mentioned by name anywhere in the original piece.

An editor’s note was later added to the top of the piece defending it by saying, “This satirical column was written by Mark Remy in response to an article that was published last week on csnphilly.com. This column appropriated parts of the original article, to imagine how someone would use questions unrelated to running to mock runners. The first version of this column included a link to the original article. The column has been updated to emphasize it was written in response to the csnphilly article.”

About Matt Yoder

Award winning sportswriter at The Comeback and Awful Announcing. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.

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