Churnalism: discover when the "news" you're reading is a press-release

Nicko from the Sunlight Foundation sez, "I thought you'd be interested in a new browser extension and webtool from the Sunlight Foundation called Churnalism. It extracts article text from any site you'd like it to run on and compares it against a corpus of press releases, articles from Wikipedia and much more. If a significant amount of text from what you're reading matches something in our database, an alert banner appears on your browser and you can click through to see a side-by-side comparison. I imagine every editor would want to run this on their stories before they publish!"

Churnalism Search (Thanks, Nicko!)


  1. Churnalism is a form of journalism in which press releases, wire stories and other forms of pre-packaged material are used to create articles in newspapersand other news media in order to meet increasing pressures of time and cost without undertaking further research or checking.[1] The neologism “churnalism” has been credited to BBC journalist Waseem Zakir who coined the term in 2008.
    Churnalism has increased to the point that many stories found in the press are not original. The decline of original journalism has been associated with a corresponding rise in public relations.[2]

  2. “I imagine every editor would want to run this on their stories before they publish!”
    What, and have to hire more ‘journalists’ to produce the content that PR flacks will give them for free?

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