Shop Talk - July 31
1:40 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Plagiarism & Fabrication

The panelists talk about reporters who plagiarize and/or make up quotes and other details.

The issue is in the new after Jonah Lehrer resigned from the New Yorker. About a month ago he admitted taking material from his earlier pieces for more recent work. Now it's been revealed that his new book includes fabricated quotes by Bob Dylan.

The Internet is making it easier to double check reporters' work, which causes panelist Lisa Kernek to question why reporters think they will not get caught. Panelist Mike Murray suggests hubris might be at play.

Kernek points out journalists are supposed to write non-fiction. Both she and Murray have dealt with students who fabricated quotes or other information in assignments. Both now have it written into their syllabus that those who fabricate or plagiarize will flunk the course.

In addition, Kernek requires students to provide names and phone numbers of those they interview. She will check sources if a quote sounds too good.