Will you find the next Jayson Blair?
AJR has a story worth checking out that covers how copy editors can catch plagiarizers.
Every copy editor now knows of the "danger signs" of plagiarized copy--abrupt shifts in vocabulary or syntax, aspects to a story that don't seem like the writer's usual work, single-sourced stories.Several newspaper managers discuss the importance of being receptive to corrections.
One Sun copy editor recently found plagiarism in a staff-written story, McIntyre says. When checking the spelling of a place name online, the copy editor noticed a sentence on a Web site identical to what the Sun reporter had written. It turned out the story included six passages taken verbatim from two different Web sites. The story was spiked.
McIntyre says: "We want copy editors to be aware that this might crop up in virtually anything they handle."
To make sure that bosses at the Charlotte Observer hear all concerns that need to be aired about the paper, they've laid down a little law. "Our main rule here," says Deputy Managing Editor Cheryl Carpenter, "is the only sure way to get yourself in real trouble is to blow off a reader or blow off a colleague that has a concern about your story." Some Observer reporters have even been disciplined for ignoring a reader. "We were trying to show the staff that not having a conversation about a reader's concern is a higher sin than publishing a correction," she says.