Widespread technology and communication has made both plagiarism and the detection of it easier than ever before. In the competitive field of journalism, integrity and individuality plays a massive role. The ethics of writing in a world where writing is an exponentially growing area of work are essential.
In the field of journalism, writers must act according to the subject’s code of ethics. “Truthfulness, accuracy, and objectivity” (Journalism Ethics and Standards) are important characteristics that each journalist must follow. A journalistic piece must meet these indisputable standards – after all, the main idea behind journalism is to deliver the truth.
There have been many cases of misconduct and disobedience of the journalistic code of ethics in the past and recent future. Zachery Kouwe, a Times business reporter, was rightly accused of plagiarizing from The Wall Street Journal. After in-depth research into his other pieces of work, plagiarism was apparent in many of his works. The New York Times article called plagiarism a “journalistic sin” to emphasize the gravity of the issue.
Another excellent example of a writer compromising his journalistic integrity can be seen in Billy Ray’s Shattered Glass (2003). This movie, based on a real life story, shows the life of a journalist who’s lost his way and his integrity. Stephen Glass, a former reporter for The New Republic, was caught for a serial fraud in his articles. He fabricated quotations, sources, descriptions, and events in his stories and was eventually fired when his deception came to light.
Plagiarism is a common issue for those writers who have lost their integrity. In fair play, written works must be original and accredited. We have the opportunity to use insightful ideas from countless pieces of work. There are written works available in almost every thinkable subject – anywhere from linear algebra to dance ballet. The only requirement for contributing to and taking from the gigantic world of words is integrity. Upholding this honor is the only way to avoid fraud and plagiarism.