“I went to google an old story of mine last night,” says former Daily Voice reporter Phil Corso, “and noticed it was under someone else’s byline.” (The top of one of his stories is shown above.)
Earlier, his bylined articles were changed to “By The Daily Voice staff,” which “I saw as a problem they had with their CMS [content management system] when they remove employees from the system.
“But now, my stories seem to be credited to someone else completely,” says Corso, now an editor with Times Beacon Record Newspapers of Setauket, NY. “Crosses a line if you ask me. A quick google search seems to show that every single story I wrote is now credited to someone named Diana Brice.”
The mysterious Brice also gets credit for all of the stories written by former Daily Voice reporter Jeremy Rice. (Here’s one.) Reporter Erin Lynch introduced herself to Daily Voice readers three years ago. Today Diana Brice gets the intro byline.
Travis Hardman, chief technology officer of the Daily Voice chain of newspapers in Connecticut and New York, says in an email that depriving former employees of their bylines “is certainly not our intention and if it is happening it’s a bug in our system. We heard of this happening in one case and corrected it immediately.”
Former Daily Voice managing editor Jenn Lord Paluzzi tells Romenesko readers that “‘Diana Brice’ is one of the default names that the sites’ CMS generates when you enter a story without a byline. I’m not sure why that decision was made — maybe they felt every story needed a byline? — but what has happened is the reporters who have left or were laid off, in many cases, are losing all proof that they did the work.”
Update: “We’re looking into it further now,” says CTO Hardman.
Update 2 from Hardman: “We were able to correct the problem and all missing bylines now read ‘Daily Voice Staff.’ Unfortunately, as you note in your post, it appears several reporter profiles were removed from our CMS a couple of years ago and the authorship records along with them. I’d like to apologize to past Daily Voice reporters who were affected and I’m happy to work with them to restore their bylines.”