Thursday, October 20, 2005

Plagarism update

The Californian featured a lengthy “explanation, an apology, and a promise” in yesterday’s paper describing the plagiarism incident involving one of their reporters.
Nada Behziz was fired after significant portions of her report were found to be taken verbatim from an article published in the San Francisco Examiner several years ago.
Her defense was simply it was more a case of sloppy journalism than deliberate plagiarism. Not the greatest defense, but still better than none at all I guess.

The incident did provide a valuable learning experience, not only for the Californian staff, but for journalism students everywhere. My son told me they talked about it in his journalism class at BHS. The thing I found interesting was that the quote that tipped off the rip off, was originally attributed to a four year old girl. In Behziz’s article the quote was supposedly made by a ten year old girl.

Unless the quote was taken from an extremely articulate four year old, you’d think that would have been a big ol’ red flag.