Not only does Michael Olivier not declare on his blog that he is paid to write ‘reviews’ about the wines of his ‘Winery Partners’, but he also ‘writes’ blogposts about winery news that are copy-and-pasted word for word, including the headline, from media releases sent to him by the winery PR companies!
On Monday we received the following media release from De Kock Communications on behalf of their Nederburg client, announcing the wine company’s new Winemaster’s Classes, which have been designed to tie in with the start of Season Two of MasterChef SA next Tuesday:
‘NEDERBURG’S ONLINE WINEMASTER’S CLASSES TO COINCIDE WITH MASTERCHEF SOUTH AFRICA SEASON TWO
Nederburg, official wine sponsor of MasterChef South Africa season two, and also the venue where most of the action takes place, has a new series of entertaining online master classes in food and wine pairing. Participants stand in line to win gourmet cookware prizes.
Featuring cellar master Razvan Macici talking about some of his favourite taste pairings in wine and food, the eight Winemaster’s Class clips will be posted bi-weekly on the brand website, www.nederburg.com/za/competition, starting on Tuesday, June 11. They have been created to coincide with the new season of the cookery challenge series that runs for 14 weeks from June 11 on M-Net, every Tuesday and Wednesday at 19:30.
Mostly less than two minutes long, the Winemaster’s Classes cover a range of foods to go with wines, from tapas and pasta to barbeques, desserts and even a gourmet sandwich that Razvan makes for himself as a midnight snack during the height of the harvest.
Online participants will be asked a question based on the content of each clip. Correct answers will see participants entered into a bi-weekly draw for a stunning Le Creuset cookery set.
Even if participants have missed a class or two, they can join in at any point during the series and catch up with their fellow classmates.
The clips focus mainly on Nederburg’s Winemaster’s Reserve range that will also be made available to MasterChef South Africa contestants. These wines are stocked by the major retailers nationally.
“It’s a tasty, relaxed way of thinking about combining wine and food to bring out the deliciousness of both,” says Macici, who was judged the 2012 Diners Club Winemaker of the Year. “
Nederburg was also the wine sponsor and host venue for the first season of MasterChef South Africa last year.
DATE JUNE 3, 2013
ISSUED BY DKC (DE KOCK COMMUNICATIONS)
FOR NEDERBURG WINES
QUERIES LYNETTE HARRIS, NEDERBURG GLOBAL MARKETING MANAGER, (021) 809 7000
or 082 417 0584
MELISSA DIEDERICKS, NEDERBURG SA BRAND MANAGER, (021) 809 7000 or 078 290 6107
TESSA DE KOCK/MARLISE POTGIETER, DKC (021) 422 2690′.
The release has been copied word for word on Oliver’s blog, with the same headline, and there is no acknowledgement by Olivier that it has been written by De Kock Communications. No journalist worth his or her salt would be so unethical as to copy someone else’s information without acknowledging the source, and would be so lazy to not transcribe the content into his/her own words. One wonders if Olivier also demands payment for featuring information from PR companies on his blog!
Olivier has lost all credibility, in not declaring receiving payment for his reviews, and now also is guilty of copy-and-paste plagiarism, which is defined by Wikipedia as follows: ‘Plagiarismis the “wrongful appropriation” and “purloining and publication” of anotherauthor‘s “language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions,” and the representation of them as one’s ownoriginal work (our underlining)…….Plagiarism is considered academic dishonesty and a breach of journalistic ethics. It is subject to sanctions like expulsion‘!
POSTSCRIPT 27/7: It is astounding to see that Michael Copy-and-Paste Olivier is still cribbing media releases word for word on his blog, without acknowledgement to the PR companies that wrote them! We receive the same releases that he does, so it is clear to see.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage