Monday, March 27, 2006

Advocating Plagiarism?

Until now, I've avoided the Huffington Post like the drunk girl at a party, pretty much because the snippets I see others posting from it have told me everything I needed to know about it. However, Captain Ed points out this post by Larisa Alexandrovna that led me to actually go there.

It seems that someone from AP stole some of her work, and their response was that she wasn't worthy of being credited for the work because she wrote for a blog:
We contacted an AP senior editor and ombudsmen both and both admitted to having had the article passed on to them, and both stated that they viewed us as a blog and because we were a blog, they did not need to credit us. What we are or are not is frankly irrelevant. What is relevant is that by using a term like blog to somehow excuse plagiarism, the mainstream press continues to lower the bar for acceptable behavior. It need not matter where the AP got the information, research, and actual wording from. What matters is that if they use it in part or in whole, they must attribute properly. A blog or a small press publication or grads students working in the corner of a library all equally deserve credit for their work, period.

Unfortunately this is far too common and has happened to me and to other writers and bloggers far too frequently. This time, however, we made a point of tape recording the AP apparatchiks admitting to taking our work and using it without attribution, stating "we do not credit blogs".

Ouch. But I guess it puts Ben Domenech's situation in perspective, huh?

People often get flak for criticizing the media, because it always becomes a "you don't like it because you're partisan" kind of thing when they screw up or get a story wrong. But can we agree, on any side of the aisle, that this is just plain bad for everyone?

Not that I'm expecting anyone to plagiarize my crappy writing.

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