Journalism Groups Seek Policies on Plagiarism and Fabrication
The Society of Professional Journalism and other journalism groups are seeking newsroom policies and best practices for the prevention of plagiarism and fabrication, as part of a project to curate strategies for dealing with the issue.
The project, kicked off earlier this fall with the formation of a committee to investigate better ways of preventing and handling incidents of plagiarism and fabrication.
The committee is made up of journalists and journalism educators brought together in the fall by American Copy Editors Society President Teresa Schmedding. She was spurred into action after reading a book by Craig Silverman called “Summer of Sin,” a chronicle of major incidents of plagiarism and fabrication, and the lack of a consistent response from the newsrooms involved.
The committee includes representatives from a variety of media organizations, including the Society of Professional Journalists, the American Society of News Editors, Associated Press Managing Editors, and others. The goal is to produce an ebook containing advice and guidance for newsrooms; it would be available at the ACES conference in the spring.
Silverman says the group is “looking for help on two fronts:
- Examples of newsroom policies that talk about plagiarism and fabrication. What do you tell your people about what is and isn’t plagiarism? Do you have ethical guidelines that address these issues? We want as many of these policies as possible.
- Measures to detect and prevent incidents of plagiarism and fabrication. Do you do random checks? Do you use plagiarism detection services to root out stolen content? Do you call sources quoted in a story? Any examples of internal practices or programs would be greatt.
Silvermann is requesting that examples be sent to him by email.