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September 17, 2014

Politico "Experts:" Fareed Zakariah Plagiarized Quite a Bit

Patchy.

It is the slight changes to language -- what Drechsel identified as "patch writing" -- that mask Zakaria's plagiarism. To wit, a sentence in the Time magazine article reads, "... in Dutch-speaking Flanders, locals handed out free French fries, while in Louvain-la-Neuve, in French-speaking Wallonia, free beer was on offer." On CNN, Zakaria stated, "... in Dutch-speaking Flanders, locals handed out free French fries while in French-speaking Wallonia, you could swig some free beer."

Such patch writing is evident in almost all the examples cited by Our Bad Media. In some cases Zakaria blends sentences from multiple reports, as in example #7, where he borrows from both The New Yorker and Al Jazeera. Those same sentences Zakaria read on CNN later showed up in an article he wrote for Time magazine. In neither case was the work attributed to The New Yorker or Al Jazeera.

There are different degrees of plagiarism, to be sure. Case by case, the examples here qualify more as violations or misdemeanors than serious crimes. "Low level," as McBride said. But taken together, they show an undeniable pattern of behavior. For years now, Zakaria has made a habit of borrowing facts, language and style from other sources without attributing the work to its original authors, and he has presented such material as if it were his own.

Yeah I don't get it. Hyperlinking is such an easy thing.

In orally-delivered reports, it's more difficult, especially when you're mostly just cribbing from other sources. You'd have to literally insert a Verbal Citation every several sentences.

I'm not sure I buy this aspect of the charges against Zakariah -- I think this is kind of Industry Standard (as far as "essays" delivered on-air), and I rarely, if ever, hear the people delivering such essays offer Verbal Citations to their sources.

But the lightly-rewritten stuff... Eh, that's bush league.



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posted by Ace at 06:55 PM

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