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Re: “Goodbye to All That” (4/9): Hurray! What a well-done article. I am so glad you had the courage to talk about one of the chief sins of journalism. As a journalist myself, I know firsthand about being plagiarized. I had the unfortunate problem of being plagiarized about 10 years ago. It was upsetting, though in the end, I chose not to hire a lawyer and sue. It just wasn’t worth the time or the effort. I make myself look at it that my words were so good they were worth stealing.
Ethics were a given when I was in college. You just plain did not steal another person’s idea. Certainly you did not steal another person’s story. That was never an option. It still is never an option with most of us.
The Shalits of the world will probably never learn that ethics even exist.
Out of curiosity, I wonder how
many people at the New Republic warned her bosses before she was caught red-handed?
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I think Shalit’s problem is that she is, as you said, a con. She conned her bosses, she conned her reading audience, and she, apparently, tries to con everybody in her pathwherever it is she may be headed. Youth has nothing to do with it. Too many of us came out of school with a much stronger sense of ethics than we have even now. My ethics as a 41-year-old have not changed so much that I would steal anyone else’s stuff.
The real problem is the willingness of editors to pay for stories that will make money by generating readers. So many have gotten caught up with how much money they can make that there is now no regard for ethics. Just look at most television news magazines.
I, personally, chose print journalism over broadcast because of the ethics thing. Gosh, what’s happened to our profession?
You did a great job with your article. I read every single word. Thanks for the honesty.
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