Thursday, June 05, 2008

Dropped straight out of Guys and Dolls?

David Pratt of the Vancouver Province got fired for lifting some imagery from from a Sept. 12, 2000 article in Sports Illustrated:

"....dropped straight out of Guys and Dolls with a martini in one hand and a ___ in the other..."

The discussion of the firing was of interest:

"Within ethical standards of the newspaper, plagiarism, short of fabricating information, would be considered the most egregious of sins or transgressions a journalist can commit," said Wayne Moriarty, editor-in-chief of the Province.


A journalism ethics professor said he agrees with the Province's decision to fire Pratt.

"We need to send a signal out to everyone, every journalist and the public that we are serious about the standards of journalism." said Stephen Ward of the University of British Columbia School of Journalism.

IPBiz ponders, if these fellows were sent to Carbondale.... Pratt's lifting seems SO minor compared to what was going on at page 54 of Poshard's thesis.

The sportingmadness blog had some interesting text:

Pratt: "That particular line is a pretty famous line and I should have credited Reilly with it and I didn't. It was a stupid mistake and something I regret and I'll make damn sure I'll never do it again. I'm looking for stuff from everywhere. We recycle everything. The sheer amount of volume we produce forces you to constantly be looking for different people's ideas."

IPBiz notes that no one has suggested that Abraham Lincoln plagiarized from the Bible in making his "House Divided" speech. Further, the Weninger/Oak Park incident seems to have comprised a far greater AMOUNT of copying than done by Pratt, but, at least the Chicago Tribune does NOT think that was plagiarism.

Sportingmadness wrote:

I'm not sure if he gets caught making that comment on the air, though. He might still have been tripped up, as Reilly is a very famous writer who many people are familiar with (and thanks to the fabulous SI Vault, it's easy to access his old stuff now), but it's harder to compare quotations word-for-word (necessary to establish plagiarism) when they're spoken over the air instead of presented online, where you can easily just put the two columns side by side and examine the similarities.

IPBiz notes that the SIUDE actually compared Posner's thesis line-by-line to earlier texts. And, gee, they were the same. That's how the concept of "inadvertent plagiarism" was created. Pratt admitted the lifting, removing "inadvertent plagiarism" from his arsenal. The imagery was in fact well known. QUERY: what would happen if we applied the "Pratt standard" to Obama's gold-plated patent proposal, which was obviously lifted?


Post a Comment

<< Home