In the article “Eight Reasons Plagiarism Sucks,” Shafer explains the harm of plagiarism for readers, writers, and the entire profession of journalism. I totally agree with the points made by the author about the negative effects of plagiarism. For example, Shafer argues that a plagiarizing writer is likely to copy the mistakes from other journalists’ works. Since journalists are expected to present their original works, readers will assume that the plagiarizing author has conducted his independent research into the question when he actually has not (Shafer). As a result, readers are deceived and deprived of an objective view of the problem. In my opinion, deceit is the primary problem with plagiarism. A plagiarist lies that he wrote the story himself and checked the facts independently. Furthermore, plagiarism deprives readers of the opportunity to further explore the topic by getting familiar with the sources that the author used in his work because these sources are not cited.
Shafer plausibly refutes the objection of plagiarism advocates who say that it is difficult to cover the same news without using similar words. The author argues that “stories written by nonplagiarists almost never overlap the way the stories written by plagiarists do” (Shafer). I agree with this point because people do not think with similar words. They may have similar ideas but use different words to express them. After all, the purpose of writing is to bring something new to the existing discussion of the problem. Non-plagiarists achieve this purpose by adding their own views of the topic at hand, while plagiarists’ works are useless in this regard.
Finally, plagiarists show no respect to other writers and the profession as a whole. Shafer argues that plagiarism in journalists’ articles persuades the readers that journalism is “filled with lying, psychopathic scum.” Moreover, the profession suffers when a productive plagiarist gets promotion instead of less productive but scrupulous journalists because it fosters the publication of a larger number of low-quality works (Shafer). I think that Shafer is justifiably concerned with the harm that plagiarism does to journalism because it really discredits the profession. I also believe that it is related not only to journalism but also to the academic field. People engaged in journalism and science should be able to come to their own conclusions, as well as respect and acknowledge the work of their colleagues. If they cannot do this, perhaps, they do not belong in their profession.
Shafer, Jack. “Eight Reasons Plagiarism Sucks.” Slate, 2008, Web.