Monday, March 27, 2006

The kiss of death

Remember how I told you plagiarism was the kiss of death for journalists and other media writers? Well, another plagiarist just bit the dust.

Blogger Ben Domenech was hired by the Washington Post to debut a new right-right political blog, Red America. He started Tuesday; by Friday, he was gone. Obviously, it doesn't take other bloggers long to suss out a plagiarist.

Here's Post Executive Editor Jim Brady's letter to the public about the Domenech's resignation, and here's an interesting salon.com interview with Brady about why the Post didn't figure it out first.

Given how easy it is these days to fact-check things online, it's a bad time to be a plagiarist.

P.S. You might also want to check out Poynter Online blogger Romenesko's take on this and other hot media topics.

4 comments:

Danielle said...

It blows my mind how people think that they can get away with plagiarism! These days it is so easy to catch plagiarism because of all the online sources. One of my econ professors made it a point to tell us at the beginning of the year that he runs all of our papers through an online system to catch any hint of plagiarism. He also scans our papers into a system so that he knows if someone turns in the same one in following years. The saddest part of this story is that the individual who got caught was just blogging! Isn't blogging just supposed to be a place where you share your own opinions and ideas? If you can't even come up with your own opinion to start a blog, then you probably shouldn't be blogging.

Stacy M. said...

I agree with Danielle when she says that it blows her mind how people think that no one will catch them. Plagiarism is such a serious matter. In fact, a few months back, the C.E.O. of my company came across a blog of our employee who was claiming the companies ideas as his own. Needless to say, he was fired. With the direction technology is going to these days, these things are bound to happen because there are dishonest people. It is just unethical and people should be fair to other's as well as well as themselves.
If they can't come up with their own writing, or new interesting ideas, there is nothing wrong with using someone else's as long as it's clear.
- Stacy M

shawn camilleri said...

With the amount of articles and papers written over the years it would be hard to write anything nowadays that would be considered "absolutely original". Everyone has made an opinion on just about everything by now. But that dies not excuse the act of plagiarism. In schools around the country, plagiarism is discussed and discussed all the way up to the university levels. Computer programs have been designed to weed out offenders. The ability to credit written work by other writers is not a crime, and most writers today have been taught how to credit other’s written work. Yet people today are still trying to pass other people’s ideas off as their own. It is a bit of a “lazy man’s” way out of doing his own thinking. No one is going to get mad if you agree or disagree with someone’s point of view. Sometimes people have said things already you might have been wanting to say, but they just say it better. It is ok to use their words as long as you give them credit for saying it. Just make sure you show why YOU agree or disagree with it.

shawn camilleri said...

With the amount of articles and papers written over the years it would be hard to write anything nowadays that would be considered "absolutely original". Everyone has made an opinion on just about everything by now. But that does not excuse the act of plagiarism. In schools around the country, plagiarism is discussed and discussed all the way up to the university levels. Computer programs have been designed to weed out offenders. The ability to credit written work by other writers is not a crime, and most writers today have been taught how to credit other’s written work. Yet people today are still trying to pass other people’s ideas off as their own. It is a bit of a “lazy man’s” way out of doing his own thinking. No one is going to get mad if you agree or disagree with someone’s point of view. Sometimes people have said things already you might have been wanting to say, or they just say what you want to say better. It is ok to use their words as long as you give them credit for saying it. Just make sure you show why YOU agree or disagree with it.