Posted on November 15, 2007
Defining plagiarism: Is there a gray area?
On the topic of charges of plagiarism against John Merrill, a revered journalism professor and ethicist, our dean emeritus Ralph Lowenstein recommends that you read the following, in this order, before coming to judgment:
- A Nov. 9 column about the situation by Tom Warhover, the Columbia Missourian’s executive editor for innovation.
- Merrill’s column of Nov. 3, which started the controversy.
- An Oct. 5 article by Anna Koeppel in a student newspaper, The Maneater, from which Merrill apparently copied quotes without attribution.
I don’t know enough (at this point) to take sides on this, but it’s certainly a rich case for discussion in journalism classes.
Update (Dec. 12): Four professors at the Missouri School of Journalism have weighed in, with an essay at the Poynter site.