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Studies show that The Rockwall Times is breaking news stories ahead of competition: A letter from the editor

Last updated on October 14, 2019

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Hello Rockwall,

I apologize that we’re having to meet for the first time in these conditions. But there is something that I have been letting lie and I just can’t anymore.

It has come to my attention that another local news source has been, for a lack of a better term, stalking content from The Rockwall Times. In 30 instances that we counted going back just 30 days, the same, if not identical, content has been posted on their website and Facebook page after it was posted on ours.

Now, a press release is a press release and no one “owns” the news. News is just that, news. News isn’t what it used to be either. The internet is home to a plethora of information. That is both a blessing and curse at times it seems.

I’m being a bit vague here though. Let me break this down for you as it applies to The Rockwall Times. In the 30 instances that were counted over the last 30 days:

  • Two photos that were shared directly to The Rockwall Times Facebook page were both shared as well to the competitor’s page. One just 33 minutes later and the other nine and a half hours later. One of the photos was cropped, but it was clearly the same photo.
  • In seven instances, identical posts were made more than 24 hours after they were posted by The Rockwall Times. In six of those instances, they were posted more than 48 hours later.
  • On one particular day, The Rockwall Times had shared four posts from various other Facebook pages over the span of about 12 hours. The following day, the same exact posts were also shared on the competitor’s page. All of the shares were time stamped within the same minute of each other. The posts were also in the exact same order that The Rockwall Times shared them in.
  • In once instance, The Rockwall Times posted a story involving a national-chain store. Eighteen and a half hours later, a similar story was posted on the competitor’s page. Their story was copied directly from the store’s website, verbatim. The article cited “Rockwall PR” and did not credit the store’s website where the information was actually taken from. We reached out to the store’s corporate about this instance.
  • When we reached out to the owner of the competitor site regarding their shotty business practices, their response was “Welcome to the world of news.”

I guess what I’m trying to say is this, The Rockwall Times is here to stay. We watch the competition, but we are not swayed by them. We will continue to bring you the news you care about. The Rockwall Times is here for you, the citizens, of Rockwall. We’re here to keep you informed, up-to-date and aware of everything going on around you in this wonderful little place we call home. The Rockwall Times appreciates your continued support.

Brittany N. Bottoms

UPDATE: Since the posting of this article, the competitor’s article which cited “Rockwall PR” has since been updated to reflect the correct source.

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