Plagiarism plagues recent local ‘news’ article • Paso Robles Press

A quick cut-and-paste job reveals 76% plagiarism from reddit.com, government websites, and other online news sources

Journalism today is more competitive than it has ever been, and the current era is not quite ready to be called the “post-fake news” era. Facebook and online sites still offer an outlet for the less scrupulous to insert their content into the general population under the false pretense that it can be considered “novelty” or sometimes even original content.

The explosion of technology over the past twelve years has put an editing device in the hands of more than half of the people walking down the street. Forms of communication are shifting and changing every day, with original content being posted on social media apps, video apps like Tik Tok and YouTube, and photo apps like Instagram.

By default, ownership of content resides with the person or company that created it. Plagiarism occurs when content is published without proper credit, assuming the publisher is the producer of the content. Online tools are readily available to uncover the potential pitfalls of plagiarism.

To access to and editing information has never been so easy. Handhelds are practically digital publishing departments, and Facebook’s loose publishing standards allow anyone to claim to be a “journal” or “publisher” without the proper checks and balances that maintain an environment of integrity.

Get through this together, Paso Robles

On February 3, the article in question was found to be heavily plagiarized with just a small mention of a source in the first paragraph. Upon examination, it was found that out of some 300 words – of those not cut and pasted from cdc.gov like most of the article – 76% of the text was plagiarized from four other uncited sources, including other media: ksbw. com, abc10.com and msn.com.

Real journalism doesn’t start with likes and clicks, and it doesn’t care about SEO, web traffic, and ethics first. Real news makes the extra appeal. Real news goes a step further. Real news is good news. Good news is real news. Paso Robles Press is your hometown news. We are here to raise the bar. We are here to keep the community archives straight.

At Paso Robles Press, we are firm believers in the United States Constitution, the First Amendment, and freedom of the press. The right to freedom of expression and freedom of the press must not be restricted. It is up to the reader to decide which news to trust and which news to support.

The error is human. Errors occur and corrections are made. The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics provides a simple guideline for editors and writers.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The fourth principle of the SPJ’s Code of Ethics calls for accountability and transparency, and calls for the disclosure of unethical behavior in journalism. Our news team at The Paso Robles Press has decades of practice in journalism and editing and that experience guides us in our decisions to print and how to approach our daily news cycle. It is an honor to compete in local journalism. Being the #1 online news source for North SLO County is the result of producing timely, accurate and honest journalism. We made a conscious decision not to drive away traffic by spreading advertising material, clickbait or tragedy, and instead chose “Good news • Real news • News from your city” as our philosophy of our community newspaper. Every day we strive to produce the best local stories by professional writers who are proud to put their name to their stories. What you can trust is if we get the story right or if we get it wrong, when we put our name on it, it’s our own original content.

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