There’s plagiarism and fabrication in journalism?! Ahoy Captain Obvious!

citizen-journalism-400x336Photo Source: http://www.brainstuck.com/2008/10/18/citizen-journalism/

In recent years plagiarism in journalism has become a significant issue due to the rise of social media and the number of citizens who use it on a day-to-day basis. Self tagged journalists are becoming a lot more common nowadays with the rise of different media platforms (Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube) and because of this the notion of “copying and pasting” has become more frequent.  I found this an interesting article on plagiarism and fabrication being unacceptable in journalism. 

In 2011 Paige Wiser was let go from her job of 17 years at Chicago Sun-Times after stating she was at a concert for its entirety when she clearly wasn’t. Her “Glee Live!” concert review awkwardly described one song that she didn’t see and another one that wasn’t performed at all on the night. When Wisner admitted her fault she said “I do understand what a big deal this was. I am ashamed, and it’s just a matter of making bad decisions when you’re exhausted.”

According to Wisner she was told that her kids “cutesy reactions” would be welcome, so she brought a long her 6 year-old daughter and 7 year-old son. However, “Jack nearly decapitated himself falling off his seat, and Audrey started murmuring “I’m going to throw up” 10 songs into the set.” Wisner admits she would’ve written that she left early but she didn’t want to let the paper down. Instead Paige included the encore song “Friday” as she was familiar with it. “Big mistake. I didn’t see it there, so it was a lie.” Wisner states

Editor in chief at the time Don Hayner  published Wisner’s dismissal stating that “accuracy and honesty in reporting are essential parts of the promise we make to our readers. We regret the incident and apologize.”

Fabrication and plagiarism are major issues that we are currently facing as a society in journalism. The expanding world of social media is only going to make situations like Wisner’s more frequent.

 

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