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cheating for an award

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by incognito, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. incognito

    incognito Guest

    What should I do in this situation?

    Yesterday at work, my SE left a list of entries he's planning on submitting for design awards. There were lists for a special section category, a list for individual page designs and a list for a portfolio category. It's all in his handwriting so I have no idea what contest or contests this is for, but he had written those categories down himself, with different dates/titles for entry.

    Anyway, I was glancing down the list of what he appears to be planning on entering, when I came across two pages I did. At first I thought, "Oh, cool, he's actually going to enter some of my stuff." Generally, he only ever enters his own work, and except for the two, every other page there was his. The two pages he's selected are even two that I'm particularly proud of -- two that I would say are among my three or four best from 2006. But then I realize something -- he's entering them in the portfolio category, and he's got them mixed in with a bunch of his pages. Essentially, he's claiming two of my best designs as his own to enter them into a portfolio contest. After all, page designs don't get bylines the way stories do, so who's going to know one way or the other who did the design -- except that I know for an absolute fact I did both of those. In fact, on one of them he's got two bylines from a deadline event 45 minutes away, so there's no possible way he did that layout. That also, in my mind at least, eliminates the possiblity that this is just an innocent mistake -- he knows he didn't do that layout because his stories are the two biggest on the page. The other page I suppose could be a mistake -- neither of us has a byline in that issue, so there's really no way to tell for sure who did it, except that I know it's mine because I remember being very proud of that page and keeping it for my portfolio. But the fact that he's picked two of my pages, and two of my best at that, makes the possiblity of innocent mistake seem unlikely.

    What should I do? Should I say something to him, or to the managing editor, who takes all the pages the librarian collects and mails them in for the contest. Or should I just ignore it -- after all, it doesn't affect me in any way, really. He's obviously interested in entering only his own work, so it's not like he's costing me an opportunity to win. And there's no money or anything else of value on the line, except maybe pride, so in the grand scheme this isn't really a big deal. My only thought as far as that is concerned is that if he actually does win something or place, he's prevented somebody more deserving, somebody who entered their own work, from winning.

    So what do the fine folks at sj think I should do, because as I said, I'm kinda torn.
  2. Cousin Jeffrey

    Cousin Jeffrey Active Member

    That's bs. You should bust him on it. Just say something to him, like, "Oh, aren't those mine?"
  3. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    CJ has it right.

    However, did you just happen to notice them sitting there? Did he ask for any input or anything?

    I would say you noticed the entries sitting out and wanted to thank him for considering some of your pages for the contest then ask which contest it is and if you can show him some other pages you really liked.

    See how that goes.
  4. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    Agreed. Don't let that go. You don't even have to pick an argument. Just act like you're looking out for him and say it looks like he accidently mixed two pages you did in with his.

    Edit: I like Ace's approach better.
  5. let it go, man. i'm giving you real business advice. these people obsessed with contests as a means of resume building react very poorly when called out. i'm telling you. let it go. let the guy cheat.
  6. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    I would write a letter to the SE, making it sound like it came from the organization doing the judging.

    "Dear SE:

    Thank you for your submissions to our contest.

    While most of the work was outstanding --- frankly, it was far and away the best entry we have received in years --- we noticed that one of the pages contained a couple of stories from you where you were on an assignment miles away.

    Thus, the committee cannot believe that this page submitted was your work. Your entry, therefore, has been disqualified.

    Design Committee
  7. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Normally, I'd say it depends on your value system. whitlock certainly provides a way of looking at it.

    But the byline/deadline evidence is the kind of contradiction an observant judge could catch. Then, egg is not only on the SE's face, but the paper's. I think you absolutely confront him about that. Just between the two of you. If he agrees and removes it, it ends there. If he doesn't - or if he says he will but makes you believe he really won't, take it up the ladder.

    I personally would mention them both - maybe he thinks he advised on it - but I think your obligation - to the paper - is to deal with only the one.
  8. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    Can you submit them yourself for the same contest/award? That might be fun.
  9. Totally agree, but do it tactfully.
    if that doesn't succeed, you may want to give your ME a heads up on situation.
  10. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    If this guy wins an award based on your work, then goes on to a better gig, you will seethe, always wondering if the award helped him advance.

    I would say something to him in passing... but with total nonchalance. Like you can't remember whether you designed that page or not. That gives him an out-- so he can say, "Oh yeah, you did do that one. My memory's going, I must be getting old. Sorry, buddy, my bad."
  11. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    Have yet another plan just in case your ME won't take up for you, either because of a fondness for ostrich imitations or a lack of testicular fortitude.
  12. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    You don't say where he "left" it.

    If he "left" it posted on the bulletin board seeking amendments and suggestions, just bring your concerns, rationally and politely, to his attention.

    If he "left" it lying on his desk, and you cribbed from it while he was at lunch, you shouldn't say anything at all.
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