Oregonian Reporter Accuses KATU of Lifting His Story ‘Without Attribution’

By Mark Joyella 

KATU NewsroomA reporter for The Oregonian says an investigative reporter for Portland ABC affiliate KATU lifted a story and reported it–both on air and online–without ever crediting the newspaper.

Rob Davis is an investigative reporter who covers the environment for The Oregonian, and Tuesday afternoon he published a story revealing that a special license plate designed to benefit the salmon in Oregon–by repairing culverts that can block salmon migration–was in reality funneling money elsewhere:

Since 2013, the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board hasn’t spent a cent of salmon plate money on fixing road impacts.

Instead, drivers have paid the salary and office expenses of OWEB’s small grants administrator in Salem. Drivers are also set to pay for a $150,000 website improvement to make it possible to apply online for grants from OWEB, another project that won’t retrofit a single culvert.

Hours after Davis’ story was published, it appeared on KATU. “On Your Side” investigator Bob Heye had largely the same salmon plate story on air at 11 p.m. Tuesday–carrying the “investigators” branding–and the story was published on the KATU website the next morning. Coincidence? Rob Davis didn’t think so:

Tiffani Lupenski, news director at KATU, told TVSpy “Our story, and the interviews we gathered for it, speak for themselves about our research and fact gathering.”