Sorry DN, but be honest with us and yourselves and call this what it is,
plagiarism, rather than beating around the bush and calling it a "lack of
proper attribution."The Eyre's lifted other writer's
words without giving credit- THAT in a nutshell is plagiarism.This
whole citizen journalism issue is what has changed my opinion of the DN. All
the fluff, interspersed with news, makes it feel like a big Church newsletter
rather than a major daily. Anymore when I come to the DN, I have to scan
through the stories to pick out news from the fluff pieces. I understand that
the newspaper business is changing, but professional journalism is not- you
still need professionals to write the news and other stories. Letting
"amateurs" have their own columns can prove dangerous, as this new
episode and the Richard Burwash stories have shown.Students have
been thrown out of school for plagiarism. Reporters have been fired over it.
The Eyre's get their column suspended for a month? How can I trust the DN
if you can't sufficiently vet your own citizen journalists?
The SLTribune is playing up this one, because of the DesNews's harsh stance
against plagiarism that it has taken in the past, and what appears on the
surface to be a double-standard. I know the pressure to publish is a
big factor in why this sort of thing happens--it looks bad to publish an article
that's mostly quoted material from sources outside of the experts
presenting it--but for the sake of learning from other sources, it really is
helpful to have all materials correctly attributed. I've always
felt that attributing quotes makes one's own piece stronger, because
it's not just the opinion of one expert, but of the others attributed. Hopefully lessons are learned, especially from such prolific writers who
counsel others publicly on the need of ethical behavior.
This is the second ethical lapse caused by the Deseret News using volunteers
instead of professional journalists. Moreover, a journalist would say that what
happened is plagiarism. The milder characterization by the Deseret News is not
surprising given the limited journalism experience of the editor. The Deseret
News needs to hire more journalists and abandon its volunteer model if it ever
wants to be seen as a newspaper again.