Arianna Huffington teaches Alice Hutchison: when you plagiarize, take responsibility and settle

Huffington Post: Media report on another scandal / Simon Dumenco in AdAge: a plagiarism victim describes his case / AdWeek: Interview on plagiarism; the lesson absorbed / Gawker Blog: Criticism of Huffington Post; but Arianna DID correct the mistake made on her watch! / UTV: Plagiarist Jorgo Chatzimarkakis defends himself / Oxford University spokeswoman, Ruth Coller, denies that the institution ever encouraged substandard academic practices

The large online newspaper Huffington Post has confessed: One of our employees copied the work of others without indicating the source. Editor in Chief Arianna Huffington responded swiftly by firing the writer. The responsible editor at the HuffPost, Peter Goodman, apologized to the victim of the plagiarism and declared:  “We have zero tolerance for this sort of conduct.”

The case merited a top story at Meedia, a German Website that covers the news industry. Small wonder – Germans’ sensitivity to plagiarism has grown enormously over the last year, as a series of politicians have been disgraced by revelations that their academic writings included copied and unattributed text. The latest case, in which MEP Jorgo Chatzimarkakis was stripped of his doctorate by the University of Bonn, underscores that these practices are no longer being tolerated. Plagiarism is intellectual theft. It should not happen.

But what to do when it does happen? We’re only human, after all – inevitably, some of us will give into the temptation to take an academic or professional shortcut. Well, Arianna Huffington has shown what to do:  'Fess up' and clean house. If plagiarism happens on your watch, you have to take responsibility and do what you can to remedy the mistake.

It’s a lesson that plagiarist Alice Hutchison should take to heart. She copied extensively from other authors in her book on the American filmmaker Kenneth Anger. The plagiarism has been documented in detail. It has also been publicly condemned by the Humboldt University of Berlin, the home institution of one of the victims. Even so, Alice Hutchison refuses to take responsibility for her breaches of academic honesty and professional standards.

Duncan McCorquodale is not prepared to accept liability for flagrant plagiarism On His Watch

What makes the Alice Hutchison case worse is that her publisher, London-based Black Dog Publishing, has chosen to tolerate and even defend the author’s plagiarism. Company head Duncan McCorquodale has for years refused to take liability for what Alice Hutchison did on his watch. McCorquodale and his company do a lot of good work – it’s too bad they are mishandling this situation so badly.

This serious case of “dishonest” copying, as a German court described it, is a very important subject that will undoubtedly receive ongoing scrutiny – until Duncan and Alice finally understand Arianna’s lesson.

ON ONE'S WATCH: US President Barack Obama teaches Duncan McCorquodale of Black Dog Publishing what responsibility realy means

Please click here for a German version: Arianna zeigt Alice, wo es lang geht

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