After getting caught plagiarizing
, veteran reporter Gerald Posner has been dismissed from The Daily Beast. Early allegations from Slate columnist Jack Shafer
provoked an in-house investigation that uncovered further instances of
plagiarism. In wake of the scandal, bloggers and journalists are taking
stock of the lessons learned.
- The Internet Gives You 'Bum Reporting,' writes Jeff Bercovici at Daily Finance: "As newspapers and other bastions of old-school reporting downsize
or disappear and are replaced by understaffed websites or underpaid
bloggers, these sorts of incidents are only going to get more common.
We, as news consumers, are either going to have to increase our
tolerance for them or our willingness to pay up for the sort of
well-sourced, credible journalism we're used to."
- Old-School Journalism Must Learn from the New School, writes Michael Roston at True/Slant: "The reason bloggers don’t often plagiarize is that we don’t need to. We
can make a point by piggy-backing off of factual statements or opinions
from others, and easily make it clear that we didn’t say it first. If
Posner had simply hyperlinked back to his sources in his Daily Beast
stories – a process that I suspect is much more quick and easy to carry
out than copying, pasting, and re-writing bits of the source material –
we probably wouldn’t be talking about ‘Gerald Posner, Plagiarist’ now."
Most everybody concedes that plagiarism harms plagiarized writers by
denying them due credit for original work. But Wasserman delineates the
harm done to readers. By concealing the true source of information, plagiarists deny "the public insight into how key facts come to light" and
undermines the efforts of other journalists and readers to assess the
truth value of the (embezzled) journalistic accounts. In Wasserman's
view, plagiarism violates the very "truth-seeking and truth-telling"
mission of journalism.
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