Most Read: Opinions

Join a Discussion

Weekly schedule, past shows

Erik Wemple
On Twitter E-mail |  On Twitter Follow |  On Facebook Fan |  RSS RSS Feed
Posted at 09:20 AM ET, 10/20/2011

Shafer: Leave the newsroom if you feel pressured

In a fun chat on the site, Reuters media mind Jack Shafer takes on all comers regarding plagiarism, a topic news-pegged by last week’s scandal at Politico. The moderators asks Shafer: How can editors ”talk about how journalists can better handle the pressures they face, and how they can readjust their work habits?”

Shafer responds:

Fear works. Workshops help. But I don’t think pressure causes plagiarism. When I was an editor, I put so much pressure on my young reporters that some of them turned into diamonds. Yet they did not commit plagiarism (as far as I know). Again, if the pressure of the newsroom is too much for you, leave the newsroom.

Much as I respect Shafer’s moral absolutism on the topic of plagiarism, his leave-the-newsroom solution is no solution at all.

Does he really expect a young journo who appears to like her job and her colleagues to show the self-awareness to up and leave the joint in the midst of a bad job market? Not realistic.

By  |  09:20 AM ET, 10/20/2011

Read what others are saying

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company