Plagiarism is Never Justified

The Journal Inquirer of Manchester accuses the Hartford Courant of taking at least 11 of their local new stories in August and September and it publishing it in their newspaper as if it was the work of their reporters.

According to the Inquirer’s lawsuit, the Courant violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act and federal copyright law. The Inquirer also stated that the Courant was able to be credited for small local stories while saving money because of their cutback on local reporters.

Richard Graziano, Courant’s CEO and publisher, acknowledged the plagiarism and as a result apologized with a note in the opinion section and said that the act was “not intentional” and will not be repeated.

Chris Powell, managing editor of the Journal Inquirer, responds back saying that their apology was “pretty cheap” and that they should just hire their own local reporters instead of maliciously taking the Inquirer’s work. “They need their knuckles rapped over it.”

The lawsuit has been noted to be part of a larger dispute between the newspapers. Both newspapers had been direct competitors since the Journal Inquirer started daily publication in 1968.

Keith Woods, dean of faculty at the Poynter Institute, said “there’s no measure of justification you can offer to people for doing it, no matter how tough the times get. You can’t steal.”

This is an example of one of the many lessons we learn here at the J School of Stony Brook, you cannot plagiarize!

Plagiarizing is a very serious aspect not just in the journalism program but when writing any piece, whether it be a report, case study, or a news article. Through this article we are able to see the consequences a newspaper must undergo when taking part in such a crime. Not only is a lawsuit presented against them but they lost their creditability as a newspaper. A reader can only question how many times this particular newspaper has took part in this crime without getting caught. Also, the author who is credited to these stolen stories will not have the best reputation either. The reporter had to of willingly known that he was going to be credited for something he did not report on let alone research on.

This is something really to be frowned upon. Especially the fact that it was more than one, it took place eleven times.

I think that this is a controlled situation, meaning that this was not an accident. Participants knew exactly what was going on and instead of doing right they took the easy route and now must pay the consequences.

I also feel that just an apology is not doing justice. This newspaper was credited for work that another reporter took time, effort and dedication to report on.


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