Candace Perkins BowenKent State UniversityJEA/NSPA, Fall 2012 What is plagiarism?
First, some definitions “The act of passing off as one’s own the ideas or writings of another.” Appendix to the Honor Council pamphlet, “Acknowledging the Work of Others,” Georgetown University “… Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the knowing or intentional failure to attribute language or ideas to their original source, in the manner required by the academic discipline (such as … footnote citations …) or in the manner required by journalism practice (such as by quotation marks and attribution in a journalistic presentation)…” Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, Policy of Academic Integrity
“The unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work.” The Random House Dictionary
Levels of plagiarism: Does one size fit all? Turning in someone else’s work as yours Leaving out quotation marks for a quote Not indicating the source of information Changing words but leaving the structure the same Copying so much of the idea it is no longer the writer’s work
Is this a big problem? Penn State supplies students and faculty with Plagiarism Prevention Resources Plagiarism Tutorials for Students Student tutorial on plagiarism, inappropriate paraphrase, citations and academic honestyPlagiarism Detection and Prevention: An Instructor Guide Instructor guide to strategies for detecting and preventing plagiarism in the classroom. Other guides. Links to plagiarism policy pages, guides, quizzes, citation guidelines, basic copyright Plagiarism Linkshttp://www.tlt.psu.edu/plagiarism
Higher standard for media? Seek Truth and Report It Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information. Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics Professional electronic journalists should operate as trustees of the public, seek the truth, report it fairly and with integrity and independence, and stand accountable for their actions. Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, Radio-Television News Directors Association
What do journalists say? Two things have changed when it comes to new media technologies and plagiarism: Plagiarism is much easier to commit. And plagiarism is much easier to detect. I believe that all news organization should randomly filter the stories of staffers through the plagiarism detection software. Kind of like urine tests for texts…. Is Plagiarism More Likely in the Internet Age? Roy Peter Clark Talks About How to Avoid Plagiarism in an Online World By Tony Rogers, About.com Guide
What about student media? When you plagiarize, you violate two of the most important standards we uphold as journalists: honesty and accuracy. This document is to help you understand the Cronkite School’s standard on plagiarism and what is expected of you as a Cronkite student. Plagiarism consists of using someone else’s words, phrases, sentences or ideas without giving credit. This is true whether you do it intentionally or inadvertently. Students most often get into trouble when they cut and paste information from the Internet. There are two main ways to avoid this and other kinds of plagiarism: Quote and attribute. Use the exact words in quotation marks and include who said it or wrote it. Paraphrase and attribute: Use your own words, but still include who said it or wrote it. Walter Cronkite School of JMC
What about the pros? Jerry Ceppos, former vice president for news of Knight Ridder and now dean at LSU: Every American newspaper has a problem with plagiarism. American journalism schools give ethics instruction short shrift. (Hynes study: Only half have an ethics course.) Knight Ridder has a virtually zero-tolerance rule. “We decided -- and this happened at the highest levels -- that when someone is fired because of plagiarism, when a reference check comes in … we will say, “the guy was fired for plagiarism.” Interview with John McManus, GradeTheNews.com, Jan. 13, 2006
Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald Plagiarism is one of journalism’s unforgivable sins — and, at this newspaper, a dismissible offense. Material taken from other newspapers and other media must be attributed. San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News Plagiarism exists in many forms, from the wholesale lifting of someone else’s writing to the publication of a press release as news without attribution. The daily newspaper should be an original work. Do not borrow someone else’s words without attribution. Sioux Falls (S.D.) Leader Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Beaumont (Texas) Enterprise Plagiarism is the act of lifting the words and work of others and representing it as one’s own. It will be a firing offense at The Enterprise. Compiled by the Society of Professional Journalists
‘You can quote me on that….’ Advice on attribution for journalists, by Steve Buttry, Oct. 31, 2011 MiddletownPress.com article from Patch “Attribution is one of journalism’s most serious issues. Plagiarism is inexcusable.” “How do you know that? Attribution is a key ingredient in any story’s credibility.”
‘You can quote me on that….’ “When should we attribute? Attribute any time that attribution strengthens the credibility of a story. Attribute any time you are using someone else’s words. Attribute when you are reporting information gathered by other journalists. Attribute when you are not certain of facts. Attribute statements of opinion. When you wonder whether you should attribute, you probably should attribute in some fashion.” Steve Buttry
What can YOU do about it? Make expectations clear to staffers Use a high-tech method to combat? (i.e. Turnitin.com) Have clear consequences/policy F on article? F for the course? Kicked off staff? Suspended temporarily? Write and publish an apology http://www.slideshare.net/candaceperkinsbowen/plagiarism-jea12
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