People are taking the old adage of faking it until you make it to its logical conclusion.
I often start writing with snatches of ideas from wherever I’ve found them, so I get it.
I scribble in my notes, kick off with bits of inspiration from whatever I’m reading. It’s a way to get the ideas flowing, to sidestep a dreaded blank page. As I work my way through and finesse the concepts, story, style into something that’s more my thing it usually takes its own shape.
But over the past year or so serious plagiarism has popped up again and again, and in unlikely quarters.
- Time editor and CNN host Fareed Zakaria who borrowed liberally from New Yorker writer Jill Lepore
- Jonah Lehrer who first ‘self-plagiarised’ his WSJ blog at the New Yorker, then made up Dylan quotes
- Psychiatrist Tanveer Ahmed whose SMH column borrowed from the New Atlantis
But with content farms and ‘curated’ blogs, under-resourced newsrooms and everyone being pushed to file more and more stories, it seems to be getting more prevalent.
Here’s one today. Dan Keogh picked up that Scientific American blogger Bec Crew‘s post had been plagiarised by a reporter from the Daily Mail.
Here’s Dan’s tweet: http://twitter.com/ProfessorFunk/status/261295777140338688/photo/1
He picked it up using a tool created to help Wikipedia pick up ‘duplicates’.