Saturday, July 16, 2011

Kansas City journalist terminated for plagiarism

Newspapers tend to respond more intensely to evidence of plagiarism than do universities. Steve Penn of the Kansas City Star was fired for copying from press releases.

The Kansas City Star noted: In the normal editing process and a follow-up review, it was discovered that Penn had lifted material from press releases verbatim, in some cases presenting others’ conclusions and opinions as his own and without attribution. Editors found more than a dozen examples in Penn’s columns dating back to 2008.

An official for the newspaper wrote: “Unfortunately, in these instances over an extended period of time, Steve made some serious errors of judgment that we concluded were clear violations of our ethics policy. Regrettably, that means we must part ways.”

Within was a sad prediction for the future:

"Competition from social media reporting is creating so much angst within the traditional media, that who knows what's ethical or not." As if the existence of Wordpress, Twitter and Facebook had changed the definition of plagiarism.

There was a hint of --plagiarize with pride--> In some cases, a reporter can make a story his own without even stepping out of the office.


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