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More plagiarism in Hartford

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mikey J, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. Mikey J

    Mikey J New Member

    Via the grapevine, the Hartford Courant has suspended sportswriter John Altavilla for writing about a recruit that committed to UCONN on his blog without attributing it to ESPN/HoopGurlz.
  2. Mediator

    Mediator Member

    I don't know the specifics here, but I will say that when you are blogging 7,000 words a week on a beat, you need an editor to make sure you haven't left out words, facts or attribution. Maybe that person doesn't pre-read, but looks over posts to protect the paper and the writer.

    Perhaps there this was more deliberate on the writer's part, but the Courant has stretched resources so thin that something like this is bound to happen. Apparently, again and again.
  3. golfnut8924

    golfnut8924 Guest

    When it comes to plagiarism by using other people's words and passing them off as your own, there's not a ton of gray area. But there seems to be a bit of a gray area when it comes to plagiarism by way of not attributing sources for facts, such as in this case. Is there any rule of thumb on this?

    When the next person reports on this player committing to UConn, do they have to attribute it back to ESPN because they were the first to report it? Or to the Courant because that's where this third reporter found out about it? Both? If the answer is ESPN because they were the first, how do you know who was first? And when does it get to the point to where you no longer need to attribute it to anyone? Example: when Brett Favre first signed with the Vikings, there were a lot of reports citing "according to ESPN," "according to etc., etc." But then once it was no longer considered breaking news, there was no need to cite sources in Brett Favre stories.

    If I see in the paper or online that Joe Schmoe hit 3 homeruns last night, I don't need to cite that source if I blog about Joe Schmoe's big night at the plate.

    I've never been totally clear on this particular type of plagiarism. What gives?
  4. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    I'm told very reliably that this wasn't a situation of left out the words "according to ESPN." It was a cut-and-paste of about four paragraphs.
  5. crusoes

    crusoes Active Member

    That's very different. Never mind.
  6. Appgrad05

    Appgrad05 Active Member

    I was going to say — if we are going to start calling stealing recruiting info without credit as plagiarism, there is going to be a lot of nervous recruiting beat writers.
  7. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I was an administrator for a message board related to an online RPG I was playing. During my tenure as administrator, someone ripped off "designs" of weapons systems that other players developed and passed them off as his own.

    When I came home and saw the thread and the rip offs, I deleted and permabanned the guy who did it. No questions asked. I then passed a zero-tolerance policy against plagiarism.

    That's one of two things I will *never* tolerate.
  8. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    Wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't ask ... what's the other thing you won't tolerate?
  9. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I think most of y'all know by now, but for anyone who doesn't, homophobes.
  10. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    That's too bad. Altavilla is a great guy and has been one of the best sportswriters--if not the best--in CT for decades.
  11. MC Smitty

    MC Smitty New Member

    From people I know in Hartford....Altavilla is a lazy NY wannabe who thinks making dinner reservations is just as important as making a deadline.
  12. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    So you won't tolerate intolerance?
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