Friday, November 16, 2012

Anatomy of a "small time" plagiarism incident

As to a plagiarism incident involving the reporting of a high school basketball game, see Craig Silverman's Reporter accused of plagiarism tells Poynter his side of the story, but inaccurately .

Within the Silverman post is text from the accused copyist:

“I have been a sports editor/writer in the Southern Vermont/Southwestern New Hampshire areas since 2005, and had written a ‘round up’ article about a high school basketball game in Townshend, Vermont… a game in which I did not attend personally,” he said. “In the article I talked about the game and gave statistics, and also included a couple coaches’ quotes that I saw in Carroll’s article.”

“However,” he continued, “after the quotes I stated ‘told reporters after the game’ indicating that they were not quotes given to me personally. I also included in the article, a couple ‘stock photos’ that were clearly labeled as images that were not taken at this particular game. Therefore, why would I include photos that were clearly not from that game, if I was trying to give the impression that I was there? When I wrote that article, I can honestly tell you that I was not thinking ‘how can I make it look like I was at that game?’ That thought never entered my mind.”

Silverman reproduced a shot of a hard copy of the offending article, which clearly stated that the photos were by the copyist. The text -- ‘told reporters after the game’ -- did not appear in the accused article.


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