Sari Horwitz, a well known and gifted journalist for the Washington Post, copied and pasted notes from the Arizona Republic into her own articles regarding the Arizona shooting rampage in 2011. Sari did apologize for her actions, but claims she did so because of a deadline approaching. From the little knowledge I gained from high school about writers, I know that writers constantly have to deal with deadlines (but, broadly, everyone deals with deadlines), so why go to “extreme” measures to take someone else’s notes as her own? The article described her copying some notes from the Republic and mixing them in with her own. She was suspended for three months for her actions.
She was definitely guilty of plagiarism and, base on her record, a suspension, rather than being fired, sounds like an appropriate punishment for her actions. According to the article I read, written by David Callahan, Sari had never committed plagiarism before in her professional work. Rather, she won the Pulitzer Prize twice during her professional career. But this still doesn’t make sense why such a great writer would take someone else’s work as her own. Because I am an athlete, I think of this in terms of a good athlete; they might be great, but with so much pressure, they might want to be better so they take steroids. I’m not saying I ever took steroids, but this a situation where I can see the importance of the action.
Although I don’t like what she did (or anyone else for that matter), hopefully, she won’t try it again. But you never know.
By using Google, are we depriving our minds from thinking for themselves? I would almost say “yes”. I say “almost” because when I was in middle school when I started using Google. It made research for my literature papers fairly easy. So, I will admit that Google has helped me before to find information I needed for school work, however, the more I used Google the more I turned to my computer for information that could have been inaccurate.
I didn’t notice until high school the differences between .com, .gov, and .org, until my writing teacher pointed it out for one of our assignments. I was writing a report on the Battle of the Bulge and, when I wasn’t paying attention to the ending of the website, I came gathered information that I later realized was false. The false information was where the battle had earned it’s name. The information I gained from an inaccurate webpage said the name was derived from the route the Germans took to the English Channel. When the correct derivation (which I learned from my World War Two fanatic father) was from the act of the 101st Airborne. The 101st Airborne changed its route and aided their fellow Americans at the English Channel. I don’t remember the website I got the information from, but it obviously was false. But this only goes to prove that anyone can post whatever they want on the internet, and it as sure as heck can be false.
Granted it’s not Google’s fault for giving me an inaccurate webpage, but because Google brings up anything that has the typed keywords, it’s easy just to take what’s right in front of you rather than thoroughly examining the webpages’ accuracy. In a sense, Google can make us gullible.