The Sun-Sentinel’s Wholesale Stealing of Stories



You would think that when you pay for a website, you are getting original news and views.

Not when it comes to the Sun-Sentinel, which is going to be asking you for money within days to look at their website. Judging for their actions since the inception this website and another local website, they will take a lot of stories available for free and recycle them.

I’ve laid off calling them on it since I know all the reporters and most of the editors.  And now they will be asking readers to pay for others’ work.

Its not plagiarism, since they do write their own versions.  But they don’t even bother to find new angles to the stories.

They didn’t even think of the stories until the free and  had them!

At least they should throw in a line that or had the story first. I’ve been told by reporters that they want to put such a credit in their pieces, but the management has blocked them.

I’m not going to name names or catalogue stories.  I’ve got a list of more than 30 over two years.

Two recent ones that come to mind.  The first is a story on the Sun-Sentinel blog about how Marty Kiar found that voters didn’t like Gov. Rick Scott.  I know I developed that story because he only mentioned it in passing and I drilled in on it. Then I wrote it two days before the Sun-Sentinel.


The beginning of my version:

Broward Voters Dislike Rick Scott


Posted April 3, 2012

Marty Kiar is surprised.

As he meticulously scours Southwest Broward for votes in the Democratic primary for county commission, residents have one big issue.

It’s not education or the economy.  It’s not taxes or spending.

It’s Gov. Rick Scott.

“Everybody wants to tell me how much they dislike Rick Scott. That’s the first thing,” Kiar said.


The beginning of the Sun-Sentinel version:

Rep. Kiar: Voters in Broward really dislike Gov. Scott

Posted: 05 Apr 2012 09:05 AM PDT

It probably comes as no surprise in Democrat-dominant Broward, but voters here don’t really like Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

That’s what Broward County Commission candidate Marty Kiar said he’s hearing from voters he talks to in his west-central District 1 race.

“Out of all the things, that comes up the most,” said Kiar, a state legislator. “He is really disliked here.’’



Browardbulldog had a piece on an archeological find on the beach.  The Sun-Sentinel lifted it and ran it later.

Its pathetic.

Browardbeat and former Miami Herald reporter Dan Christensen’s Browardbulldog are largely working for the fun of it.  For free.  And we repeatedly beat the entire staff of the Sun-Sentinel like a drum.

So when the Sun-Sentinel sets up a paywall and asks you for money to view their Internet site, remember there remains a lot of free sites with Broward news.

One is Another is A third is all the television stations in town, including Bob Norman’s blog on the Channel 10 site. And Bill Gelin’s JAAblog, the courthouse website which the Sun-Sentinel lifts from. And all the fine community news sites.

All for free!

(P.S. In the Orwellian ways of the new Sun-Sentinel, the staff has been forbidden to use the word “paywall” when describing the new Internet pay scheme.  Maybe they should call it “More for Less”…which is basically what they’ve been delivering in the newspaper for at least five years.)

39 Responses to “The Sun-Sentinel’s Wholesale Stealing of Stories”

  1. Tamarac Talk says:


    Are readers still going to have to pay for stories that the Sentinel gets from other news services? Most of the time when I read the SS (as it’s delivered to my door each day), it does have a lot of news from these other news services.

    FROM BUDDY: The simple answer is, “Yes.”

  2. Brittany Wallman says:

    Hello, Buddy. That item about Rep. Kiar was actually the product of an interview I had with him last week. I didn’t drill down, like you say you did. I simply asked the question, “What were voters talking about?” I didn’t get around to posting it until after you did. He told me that voters in Weston talked about the libraries, and other people talked about transportation problems. He called me, and he probably called you that day, too. That’s all.

  3. Brittany Wallman says:

    p.s. Actually, the call was earlier this week I believe. Just didn’t get to that one for a few days – had a lot of other things to do, like always.


    I didn’t mention Britt’s name. I’ll take the word of my former colleague on this item.

    Actually, Britt is the only one I remember crediting me at the Sun-Sentinel. I applaud her for that.

    But what about the dozens of other stories lifted by the Sun-Sentinel and the ones they use from many other websites without crediting those websites?

    My point still stands: Why should people pay for the same stories that are free on numerous websites when there isn’t even an attempt to offer a new lede?

  4. Kevin Gale says:

    The South Florida Business Journal launched a Morning Edition email a few weeks ago, but its structure includes links to other publication’s articles so they get credit and web traffic:
    I worked with Buddy at the Sun Sentinel for many years and know Dan Christensen of the Bulldog, too. Both are experienced journalists who have a nose for good stories, so I look forward to linking to business articles on their websites.
    Kevin Gale,
    Editor, South Florida Business Journal
    Former Business Editor, Sun Sentinel

  5. Skeptic says:

    I agree with you about 98%, that is until you brought up Bob Norman.
    It is sad that there are people who believe that his reporting is fact based and unbiased. There are plenty who drink his Kool-Aid.
    From my experience, and personal knowledge of stories he will take about 50% fact, then add 50% opinion, but sell it/write it as though is were gospel.
    Unfortunately, he has the Kool-Aid drinkers fist pumping to his so-called investigative journalism.
    They don’t realize that much of it is an editorial served up as objective journalism.
    If he lasts more than six more months at his t.v. gig before staff figures him out, I will be shocked.
    I’ll continue to follow you, Dan and a few others, but I am not reading a faker.

    FROM BUDDY: Whatever you think of Bob Norman, his site is free. That’s the point I was making.

  6. Brittany Wallman says:

    I hope people will find after the dust settles that we still have a lot of original stories here – not stolen or borrowed or any of that. I know we are all working our butts off, we’re here long hours, and I hear a lot of typing! As my former colleague Kathy Bushouse used to say – Don’t Hate. Appreciate!

  7. Buddys the Best says:

    You are so right, Buddy! I would be irate if I were you and Dan!

    I stopped getting the S-S about a year ago, and I stopped reading their website a few months ago, since there is virtually nothing in there that I haven’t already read elsewhere. The few times a headline on the website caught my eye, the story turned out to be from Orlando or somewhere else!

    Plus, the stories on the website don’t change for days, and the website has stories days ahead of when the actual paper comes out. (While I don’t get the paper, one of my relatives does, and she tells me about stories that I have read on their website days earlier).

    I don’t know why anyone still has the paper delivered, or buys the paper, other than maybe the coupons, but charging for what they think passes as news is ridiculous! I seriously doubt that many people will do that, and maybe then the paper will finally disappear entirely. All the good reporters have left already, anyway.

  8. Don't have a cowan says:

    The Slantinel will try the ‘Pay Wall” for about 6 weeks and when clicks fall off and they lose revenue they will go free again. The only daily in South Florida to never win a Pulitzer…

  9. Brittany Wallman says:

    Did you attackers know that gets more views than the Herald’s and Post’s websites? That’s my understanding. Sounds like you’re the old codgers in the corner in your rocking chairs. Get with the times! Eventually, all the newspapers will have paywalls, I’d predict. I hope so. 🙂


    I admire Britt’s support for her employer. I agree that newspapers have to find a way to financially support their staff of reporters and editors.

    The question is whether newspapers will ever make enough from a “paywall” to offset declines from their print product and continue to pay a staff of veteran reporters like Britt Wallman. I have my doubts based on the Sun-Sentinel’s experiences in recent years. They cut approximately 50 percent of their staff. They eliminated free standing sections and many features. They cut back what they cover.

    When is the last time there was a hard-hitting story from Coral Springs or Tamarac or Weston? I pick those three cities because they all have viable, active community websites that are covering the local news better than the Sun-Sentinel and are filled with local ads.

    Hallandale also has a terrific community website that has been all over city hall.

    So the Sun-Sentinel is going to charge while cutting back coverage. Interesting business model.

    Meanwhile, other sites do a better job covering local community news.

  10. Well? says:

    It looks like to me that the Sentinel wants us to pay for the same garbage that they’ve been producing for years now. Well, I won’t do it and I know I’m not alone. The drop in quality is the reason I gave up my subscription. Sure, I viewed the on-line offering, so congratulations for all the “views.” But I won’t directly pay for junk. As lomg as the Sentinel is junk, I won’t lift a dime out of my pocket for it. I’d pay for Buddy’s site.

  11. Fashionista says:


    I will pay top dollar for your great investigative journalism, how else would I have discovered that Bernie Friedman does not wear socks with his loafers.

  12. Real Deal says:

    I knew the second that the Sentinel went to a free website that this would bring on the end of the paper itself. It is madness to give away your product for free on the internet and then compete with yourself with a printed version of the same product.

    How dare any newspaper criticize the public or private sectors and do something this profoundly stupid. This is why the Sun Sentinel and most newspapers are a faint shadow of what they used to be. Business incompetence and lousy journalism.

    Ten years or so later, they’ve come to their senses and will give webiste access to newspaper subscribers, or sell on-line only subscriptions. That makes obvious sense. It may piss off those used to getting their news on-line for free. But they were entitled to that free service anyway. Still there will be many fewer on-line users as a result, as well as fewer newspaper subscribers at home.

    NY Times did this correctly from the start forcing people to register in order to get their full on-line content. That is why they are in a better position to make a move toward transition while protecting their news quality. Arrogant local newspapers did not follow the example of the professionals and are paying dearly now for that mistake.

    Which brings me to Buddy and his complaints about being ripped off. He has no right to complain because he too gives his product away for free. That opens the door to the kinds of laughable excuses we hear from Sentinel reporters above. Of course they steal free stories. Who wouldn’t?


    Many if not most media outlets credit where they got the news. This is called transparency.

    As I wrote before, Britt Wallman is the only one I remember ever crediting me in the past.

    The Sun-Sentinel is lying to its readers. They contend they develop stories and are a great media outlet. Many times all they are doing is lifting a story from another website without mentioning the other website had it first.

    Who wouldn’t steal free stories? I wouldn’t, without crediting the source. Its a violation of journalistic ethics. But maybe that leads back to your point –“lousy journalism.”

    Business imcompetence? Sentinel’s parent company has been in bankrupcy for four years. They have been unable to get out because of debtors allegations of fraud in the buyout of the newspaper chain in, I believe, 2008.

    By the way, the reporters and editors had nothing to do with any of these financial decisions. They are the victims.

  13. Chaz Stevens says:

    >> FROM BUDDY: Whatever you think of Bob Norman, his site is free.

    So is herpes.

  14. Brittany Wallman says:

    @Fashionista: It’s Neil Schiller who doesn’t wear socks! And yes, some of our blog posts are just for fun. But that’s the rare few. Lighten up.

  15. Chaz Stevens says:

    >> Many times all they are doing is lifting a story from another website without mentioning the other website had it first.

    When the S-S writes about MAOS, it is nearly impossible to get a clickable back link.

    Brittany is the only one who ever does it.

    Thanks Britt.


    I don’t know if she is the only one. As I wrote before, she is the only one I remember crediting me.

  16. Plain Language says:

    The Sun Sentinel has been offering free website “news” for years hoping readers would become addicted to it. They put that website out there like a street drug. The thing is I don’t think many will agree to pay for it. I’m not hopeful because their product is inferior in quality.

    Sun Sentinel reporting is at best a cut above the National Enquirer. It is not a serious newspaper. So while some will look at it for free, I think most will be unwilling to pay for it.

    Not so perhaps with quality newspapers. Sun Sentinel does not make that cut.

  17. Brittany Arrogant says:

    Brittany Wallman is exactly why the Sun Sentinel is doing so poorly. She simply writes about what amuses her. Her interest is in having fun not informing me. That shit might have worked when the website was free. But if they want me to pay, they are going to have to earn it.

    I couldn’t give a rat’s ass what women are wearing to work or whether men wear socks. Honestly, I find such a topic strange coming from someone whose wardrobe clealy came from the Salvation Army store.

    Readers are also not interested in her opinions. We just want the facts. Readers can think and reason for ourselves and we certainly do not require Brittany Wallman to assist us with processing information.

    I never cared for her act but did not complain because her product came to me for free. If SS wants me to pay for their website, now they must meet my standard. The product has to be worth my money. Wallman’s garbage is not worth a penny of my money.

  18. Sam the Sham says:

    I stopped reading the SS paper years ago and will stop reading the online version as soon as they start charging for it. The NY Times is a shadow of its former self and has stopped being a credible news source years ago. The SS has not figured out that they are still trying to sell buggy whips and typewriters to a public that has moved on.

    Local print and local online news sources are thriving but the SS will fail if they keep going in the direction they are headed.

  19. Richard J Kaplan says:

    My understanding is that the web site will be free to those that pay for a newspaper subscription. I guess they will give some password or sign in protocol for access.

    I’ve seen other newspapers do this around the country, but I do not know if it has been successful there. I presume it has or the Sun-Sentinel wouldn’t be giving it a try.

    It doesn’t make any sense to buy a paper when you can get it on the web for free. However, I read both and find that not all articles in the newspaper are on the web (at least I couldn’t find them all) and vice-versa.

    I still enjoy reading actual newspaper, even more than on-line. Though I do both.

  20. Well? says:

    The post above from Brittany Wallman is a great example of why I won’t pay. Not only are the “fun” posts more of the content than she thinks and just for her own amusement as mentioned by someone else, but the fact that she chose to put Neil Schiller in the “paper” for no good reason I think is at least borderline unethical. That kind of thing is done all the time. And I’m not Neil Schiller or ever been the subject of such foolishness. Unless someone is involved in something newsworthy, that person should not be shoved into the public domain solely because of a “reporter’s” personal agenda or to get a few “views.”

  21. Nose for Real News says:

    Interesting how,whether ‘borrowed’ story or not,both Mr. Nevins and Ms.Wallman seem to have cooperated in ‘placing’ news about(on behalf of?) Mr. Kiar.Interesting to note the fact Commissioner Berger has been going door to door in District 1 for almost a year now-and somehow was never ‘newsworthy’!Also,during one of the holiest weekends for both Jews and Christians,Mr.Kiar has shown poor judgment by soliciting his candidacy door to door-of course this fact doesn’t warrant mention.This paper is a fine example of biased reporting or perhaps the best reported news money can buy?Something here is malodorous-it isn’t the fish this paper is normally used to wrap!

  22. christine says:

    Bob Norman has been on the air over at Local 10 for a year now. Your grapes must taste pretty sour.

  23. Broward's Queen of Yellow Journalism says:

    I just read the Sunday paper left on my driveway this morning. It’s about as thin as a Tuesday newspaper used to be ten years ago. It is disgraceful when I have people come see me from out of town. They look at me oddly upon seeing a newspaper this shitty. No wonder Florida is so fucked up, I’m sure they conclude.

    The Sun Sentinel used to be much better. But it has gone to shit and a big reason why is crap journalism like Brittany Wallman’s. Basically she is a petty gossip whose work devalues the newspaper, is disrespectful of people in leadership that she covers, her work is sloppy, unsophisticated, rude, tastless, base, and it constantly devalues our community’s self-perception. I don’t know what neighborhood she lives in. But life in Broward County is actually pretty nice compared to most places in the US. I refuse to be so stupid as to assume that happened by accident.

    Still, Wallman’s base of appeal seems to be among the low lives of this community, the cynics and nobody’s, the scumbag readers and losers who wallow in the mud of her “reporting.” Meanwhile, the rest of us only seek factual enlightenment. Instead, we are fed a steady diet of darkness and childish rants in a newspaper that increasingly offers little value except for passing on stories from Associated Press or other grown-up news sources.

    Leaders I know say they avoid Wallman because she’s untrustworthy. That’s why her phone doesn’t ring. It’s why she’s forced to write so much crap. Why is she so disliked? She would like you to believe it’s because she’s sooooo good at her job. Not even close.

    It’s because she is a self-centered cyber gossip who mistakes writing mean and nasty things with solid local coverage. It’s because while she fancies herself an ethicist, she is the poster child for being unethical. She and her husband both. They’re both assholes who think themselves superior when in fact they are users out for their own self-engrandizement. Nobody wants to talk to them and so they are forced to write a lot of crap.

    Nevins is the polar opposite. He was tough but people respected him. He was fair if you told him the truth. He was not petty. He wrote about the dirt that mattered. He had some values. He was never an asshole (well, almost never).

    I agree with the poster above, when Wallman’s garbage came for free we had less of a right to object. If they want us to pay for that website, they need to take the newspaper serious again.

    I do not want Wallman’s opinion on any topic because I can think for myself. All I want from a reporter is facts and news, stripped bare of any silly notions or ideas. I will read the opinions of people who have actually done things in life other than write news.

    I find it insulting to be dragged through her personal amusement stories and find most of them in horribly bad taste. Like her wardrobe. The news business isn’t the sixth grade where we make fun of others and chuckle. The news business is a serious business and if you want my money you need to fix that right away.

    Surely this will invite a response from the arrogant Wallman. I will be called a hater, or an attacker, or told to lighten up simply for telling the truth. How predictable she has become.

  24. Chaz Stevens says:

    >> Surely this will invite a response from the arrogant Wallman. I will be called a hater, or an attacker, or told to lighten up simply for telling the truth.

    Actually, I call you a coward.

  25. Chaz Stevens says:

    >> Bob Norman has been on the air over at Local 10 for a year now.

    Sour grapes?

    How about the taste of reality?

    Such as Norman’s reporting of 80 BSO deputies being hit with ID theft? Not true. Categorically not true. It was an anonymous commenter (aka Troll) which Norman reported as fact.

    Norman used, emphasis used, to do excellent work. His craftmanship has gone way down hill.

    I see a future for him on ET or maybe DIY!.

    But don’t tell that to the same seven people who will fall off the cliff (while inanely commenting) for him.

  26. twit-tany wallman says:

    Twit-tany wallman is considered a joke at the Broward commission. Everyone still wishes for the good old days before Jack Seiler got her transferred off the Ft. Lauderdale beat to the Broward Commission beat. The pols and lobbyists actually laugh about her choice of articles. Its pretty pathetic the stories that she misses-right under her nose.

  27. WestDavieResident says:

    I subscribe to both the Miami Herald and Sun Sentinel. Some days I cannot tell the papers apart as they use each others’ bylines and photos. The biggest difference is the Herald has more international coverage of Latin America and the Caribbean and the Sentinel more tri-county coverage. To me, both papers are an embarrassment when compared to the Washington Post or New York Times. But online aggregators like Google, Yahoo, Excite, and Drudge put them all to shame. If it was not for local ads and coupon inserts, I would probably cancel both local papers. And their liberal bias continues to disappoint me.

  28. Brit not that bad says:

    Please Wallman is an improvement over Wyman. Wyman covered Eggletion and Wassermen-Rubin for years and wouldnt know a scandal if the bribe fell into his lap. One thing about Brit at least if she is friendly and gets tips from lobbyists or other faces around the CC building, she is not attached at the hip like Wyman was with a certain lobbyist tied to Eggeletion.

    Then again maybe Scott was the smart one? In the end, he wrote nice nice about Rodstrom and Eggelletion only to be given a fat paycheck to be Charlotte’s Aide when he got canned from the SS.


    Scott Wyman did not get “canned” from the Sun-Sentinel. He quit to take a job as Charlotte Rodstrom’s aide. I think it was a very smart move given the state of the newspaper industry, which is about half the size it was when I took a buyout just five years ago.

  29. JuzAquestion says:

    Chaz just a question. Do you wear strawberry or grape lipstick when you blow Bob Norman?

  30. ExCompassionate Conservative says:

    Not to swell up Buddy’s head, but I knew the paper was doomed the day he was no longer writing articles there. Real journalism was being replacd with recycled Tribune stories. Most business articles are now nothing but press releases. I read the paper daily and see a never ending parade of errors in spelling and in the Englisg language. Editing and proof reading seems like an option.

    During the housing boom they had an editor in the real estate section who NEVER found fault with any advertiser or housing development. You would think that the prices of crap construction would rise for ever and ever reading the Sun Sentinel. The only negative article I ever read was about Lennar and a collapsing lake shore. Long after the real estate bust did I began to read about mtg fraud in SFLA.

    To be fair, the series about speeding cops was very, very good and has led to some neeed changes in SFLA. But on the whole, I rarely see any additional writing in their web versions and I also notice that the paper rarley follows up stories while readers ask them to.

    Overall, they should be on their knees thanking God that they have coupons tom interest me .


    Thank you.

    As far as the mistakes and typos creeping into the paper, the reason is simple. There are fewer editors checking each story because many positions have been eliminated.

  31. Just Sayin' says:

    If the Sentinel collapses behind a paywall and goes out of business, but nobody is reading it, does it make a sound (or, perhaps, does it make more than a small blurb in surviving publications)?

    I stopped getting the Sentinel at home years ago, and guess I’ll stop reading it online as well once it vanishes behind the paywall. Alas, I will no longer know if George Platt is wearing seersucker at the commission or what funny picture Stacy Ritter posted to Facebook. My loss. Not!

  32. Chaz Stevens says:

    >> JuzAquestion

    You are one very creepy person. You make my skin crawl.

    Hopefully some day BigPharma will invent a drug that will allow me to forget the fact I know you.

    Please just crawl back under the rock from whence you crawled out from under.

  33. Citizen says:

    The smartest and most informed in Broward read Buddy Nevins, browardbeat and chaz Stevens for real news, not filler and paste. I do not subscribe to S-S as the only news I care about that they report is local. Brittany is the best and I’ll miss her write-ups/blog if it costs me to read on line. Sam Zell needs to get out of bankruptcy so he is squeezing every nickel but S-S is not the WSJ or NYT. If there is any ‘copying’ by S-S from your scoops and breaking news it is because they are trying to be relevant while not biting the hand that feeds them, i.e. FLL city hall. Can’t serve two masters but Editor(s) can’t admit that.
    Seattle Post Intelligencer went all digital a few years back. Who knows about S-S?

  34. Get The Good Stuff says:

    It would actually be OK with me if the Sun-Sentinel printed stories from other papers, as long as they were GOOD stories. Example – St. Pete Times – several years ago, they hired a structural engineer to review the designs of several Tampa area new home models, homes that had been advertised as being something like 120mph wind resistant, to determine the speed at which that specific design would actually collapse. Some of them would turn into toothpicks at 50 to 80 mph. And the St. Pete Times named & shamed the exact homebuilders and the exact new home communities too! Results – massive embarrassment among the homebuilders, who all rushed to fix their faulty designs, and the SP Times series also exposed major flaws in the state’s regulatory system for homebuilders… now that’s the kind of awesome investigative work EVERY paper should be doing!

    P.S. Brittany Wallman does good work 🙂

  35. Who???? says:

    Just who is this Brittany Wallman? Since I haven’t gotten the Sun-Sentinel for at least five years, I have no idea about whether she is good or bad. She is of no consequence to me.
    I have been reading Buddy and used to read Bob Norman in the past. There are enough other websites for me to learn about politics.

  36. Coral Springs Resident says:


    When is the last time there was a hard-hitting story from Coral Springs or Tamarac or Weston? I pick those three cities because they all have viable, active community websites that are covering the local news better than the Sun-Sentinel and are filled with local ads.

    Again, you hit the nose on the head! In CS we have two local papers, and both do a fabulous job of covering local news. And–they are both FREE!! And you can read them on line, too!

    The Herald rarely covers north of SR 84, and the S-S pretty much just has recycled stories, or stories from their other newspapers like the Orlando Sentinel.

    Why would I want to read about Orlando stories, or Miami stories, when I can read coverage about my own city from my own (free) local paper?

  37. Citizen says:

    Just met the “pop up” subscription window offer on S-S. Did I read too many articles online today or opened up articles that trigger the “Intro” subscription offer of $3.99? Looks like this will make more work (and traffic) for BrowardBeat and Browardbulldog.

  38. Sidelines says:

    When I moved to S FL in early ’80’s there was a morning and afternoon edition of S-S, called Ft. Ldle News and the Sentinel. At some point there merged to one a day editions but they made money and built the building down on Las Olas. Serious reporting and great writers. I hope there are not layoffs at s-S if we do not buy the internet subscription.

  39. Wallman Reports says:

    While my husband may have been trying to push bernie friedman down an elevator to get a story today, it should be noted that Bernie was wearing a Hermes tie, a Brioni suit and a stunning pair of ferragamos