Plagiarism Sucks: 8 Reasons Why

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Plagiarism, in a nut shell, is taking someones thoughts or words and claiming them as your own. (I hope I didn't plagiarize the word plagiarism!) Some journalists live and die by this covenant of moral journalism, while others feel that is it nearly impossible to not reproduce another's thoughts without some form of parallelism.

In the world of today's media and journalism, with the likes of Nexis, Google, and Wikipedia, how can we ensure that what we are reporting or writing has not been done before? What if a work is not Copywrited? We could go even further. In theory, what if someone wrote a story that was never published? If I wrote a very similar piece and it was published, could the non-published writer of the "original work" accuse me of plagiarism?

While some believe plagiarism is menial way of flattery, many believe it has tragic consequences. And not just for the writer.

I found this article from Slate that breaks down the eight reasons why plagiarism sucks.
(By Jack Shafer.)
1. It swindles the reader.

2. Journalism is about truth, not lies.

3. It corrupts the craft.

4. It promotes the dishonest.

5. It indenigrates the hard work of others.

6. It's not what we paid for.

7. It's not theft--it's something worse.

8. It's vampiric.

I also found this website of famous plagiarists and the effects, if any on their careers.


Staci Mead April 4, 2010 at 7:02 PM  

It's interesting that some people view it as as flattery in any form. I agree that to some extent that ideas and thoughts can be similar, but plagiarism in itself is ridiculously stupid. You can agree with someone and have a similar thoughts, but don't tell me you would have said or explained it the exact way they did. The link was a good read! Nice work!

Hanna Russmann April 6, 2010 at 8:56 AM  

I think plagiarism is stupid especially in journalism. If you go out, collect the facts and interviews, the way you write up the story will always be completely different from how someone else would write it. Sure if you find something written that you agree with and want to add it cite and attribute it. Don't go passing it off as your own. It doesn't take that much longer to cite a source, than if you don't cite.

Marcia Moore April 6, 2010 at 9:01 AM  

This is a great piece. Plagarism is a risk only and idiot would take. Sadly, there are a lot of idiots out there!

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