#GenJ joins #MuckedUp to Talk about Plagiarism

Edited 12:23 by Lynn Walsh

Edited 12:46 by Scott Leadingham

Ethics. Remember that class in college? Maybe it wasn’t something you learned till grad school, or on the job. Perhaps it was rolled into your media law class Either way, when we march down (or up) to get our diplomas, we — Journalists — all know that it is wrong to copy other people’s work. We know that it is wrong to fabricate quotes.

We know this. However, the internet is filled with plagiarism and lies, even among those we regard as “best in class.”

CNN, The New York Times, Jim Romensko, Fareed Zakaria, Jonah Lehrer, Poynter — all have recently been at the center of discussion about possible plagiarism or fabrication (or in Romensko’s case, “incomplete attribution”).

All of these names should mean something to you — to many of you, they are well regarded sources in the industry. However, they may also mean “plagiarism” or other missteps to you based on the recent (and not so recent) actions of these reporters and reporters at these outlets.

(Correction – The preceding paragraphs have been updated to reflect that Romenesko and Poynter were not involved in any direct case of plagiarism, but rather that Romenesko left Poynter after a controversy about attribution.)

What drives reporters to plagiarize and, more importantly, how do we stop ourselves from losing sight of what is truly important as we advance in our careers?

That’s what’s #muckedup this week. We’re joining forces with @MuckRack to bring you a chat tomorrow night — 5pm PST/8pm ET and we’ll be discussing all of this and more.

Bring your passion to this, #GenJ — after all, that’s all we, young journalists, have and I don’t know about you, but I am NOT ready to give it up without a fight.

Follow @MuckRack and the #muckedup hashtag. @LWalsh and I (@giornalista515) will be tweeting on our own handles and from @SPJGenerationJ (using #GenJ) as well, but be sure to follow #muckedup because we want to get all the questions answered in a timely fashion.


Victoria Reitano is a Digital Producer at Live! with Kelly. She works at ABC in New York and is so happy to be reunited with her true love – Manhattan. In her spare time, she dabbles with her blog, The Giornalista Files, where she shares her ideas about being an early career lady journo with anyone who will listen. Reitano feels Yoga is the perfect compliment to her obsessive need to consume information on a constant basis and when she’s not practicing that, she’s cycling at one studio or another as spin is the perfect compliment to her Staten Island background — fist pump, anyone? Connect with her on Twitter @giornalista515 for laughs, thoughts and some tricks of the trade.

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