Discussion: NYT Public Editor: Reporter's Apparent Plagiarism Doesn't Look Like 'A Firing Offense' Yet

Discussion for article #225742

More media navel-gazing.

Meanwhile, U.S. economy rebounded strongly in the second quarter.

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Wait a minute. The Times is now sourcing Wikipedia, the apocryphal pyramid of unqualified information cum Tower of Babel?

We do get dumber ever day. Digital technology was supposed to make us smarter. Socrates was right. Blame the written word.

Wikipedia 's accuracy gets a unearned bad rap.


“Anyone can see the similarity,” Sullivan wrote. “The question now is whether this is an isolated case or one of many instances. The Times is taking that question seriously.”

If it is indeed “isolated instance of rewriting Wikipedia,” Sullivan argued that Vogel did not commit a “firing offense.”

The New York Times does not consider plagiarism (from Wikipedia!) a “firing offense.” That’s all you need to know how much this paper has declined.

It wasn’t word-for-word. It was one re-written paragraph in an otherwise original article.

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The link identifies the quandary of crowd-sourcing an encyclopedia. SOME of the information may be quite accurate. But, as a subject matter expert on a number of different topics, I have found quite a few claims that were merely polemic in nature, unsupported by available documentation, rank opinion expressed as fact, factual miss-statements, simple mis-information, incomplete information, and poorly organized information. I can see why a subject pertaining to oncology might have a higher reliability factor–the expertise on that topic has a high visibility factor–but when it comes to more arcane and esoteric topics, the quality varies to the extreme, and the non-expert reader is left unsuspecting. Which may have been the case down through history with respect to the masses and the dissemination of highly qualified information.