59°
Forecast | Radar

Activate Account | Manage Account | Logout | Today's Paper
Today's Paper, also known as the e-Edition, is an online replica of the printed newspaper. You can view today's paper or previous issues.

Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.

FOR THE WEEK OF MAR. 01, 2010

Damage spreads when writers use the Net to plagiarize

frontpageactionpoints.gif
1.gif
Most news and feature section content comes from original reporting, writing and other creativity. Show an example you think took a lot of work.
2.gif
Some traditional newspaper offerings present basic facts that are the same in all papers, which isn't plagiarism. Find or name something in that category.
3.gif
List or discuss reasons why newspapers generally are trustworthy information sources.

The ease with which content can be remixed these days not only has eliminated every technological barrier to plagiarism, but also enabled some jaw-dropping justifications for this utterly indefensible practice.
Wait -- we have to confess something very important now. We didn't really write that first sentence. We copied it from a Feb. 16 journalism blog post by Alan D. Mutter of California to show what it means to plagiarize -- which is pronounced PLAY-jar-EYES and means using someone's sentences or original phrases without credit.

The misdeed, which has been in the news lately, ranks right up there with inventing facts or quotes as one of a nonfiction writer's worst sins. It erodes readers' trust, betrays a fellow writer and undercuts the editorial safeguards aimed at reinforcing credibility of published material. That's why two recent examples brought career-harming penalties.

New York Times business reporter-blogger Zachery Kouwe resigned last month after being suspended for copying parts of Wall Street Journal and Reuters articles without credit. A week earlier, the Daily Beast news website dismissed chief investigative reporter Gerald Posner for lifting the work of other journalists.
Former editor Alan Mutter, the blogger quoted with belated credit earlier here, explains why this matters: "The practice is intellectually dishonest. . . . It is wrong to steal someone's bicycle and it is wrong to steal someone's ideas or work product in order to represent it as your own."

Newspaper says: "The Times has dealt with this . . . consistent with our standards to protect the integrity of our journalism." -- Diane McNulty, spokeswoman, commenting on writer's departure Feb. 16, 2010

TV commentator says: "It's amazing -- especially these younger people, who are very coherent about what's going on in the Internet era -- think they could get away with something like this. . . . It can be checked instantly." -- Cal Thomas, "Fox News Watch" program, Feb. 20, 2010

Blogger says: "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. " -- Michael Roston at trueslant.com


Front Page Talking Points is written by Felix Grabowski and Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2016
We welcome comments or suggestions for future topics: Click here to Comment

Front Page Talking Points Archive

Harriet Tubman will be the new face of $20 bills as paper money gets more diverse

Bleached-out coral shows alarming impact of warmer oceans

Futuristic vision: Virtual reality headsets take videos, training and gaming to a new level

End of an era: Sea World yields to critics of killer whale shows, which will change

Supreme Court seat showdown: Republican senators vow to block President Obama’s nominee

President Obama visits Havana this week as the next step in closer U.S.-Cuba relations

Legal standoff between Apple and FBI involves iPhone privacy and mass shooting investigation

Presidential campaign: Republican and Democratic nomination races are lively

Uber driver charged in Michigan shootings adds to concerns about the ride service

Political showdown: Will the Republican-led Senate let the president fill Supreme Court opening?

Complete archive