by Society for Professional Journalists
Beaumont (Texas) Enterprise
Plagiarism is the act of lifting the words and work of others and representing it as one's own. It will be a firing offense at The Enterprise.
Detroit Free Press
When material is used in a story from sources other than the writer's own reporting, those sources--other publications, previous Free Press stories, radio or TV newscasts, etc.--should be indicated in the story. That attribution need not be made for simple, verifiable facts like dates, but is essential for information that goes beyond simple fact-quotations or descriptions not heard or seen by the current reporter, characterizations or other generalizations not based on the writer's own reporting, etc...
Using someone else's work without attribution -whether deliberately or thoughtlessly--is a serious ethical breach. Staff members should be alert to the potential for even small, unintentional acts of plagiarism, especially in the reporting of complicated stories involving many sources.
Borrowing ideas from elsewhere, however, is considered fair journalistic practice. Problems arise in the gray areas between the acceptable borrowing of inspiration and the unacceptable stealing of another's work. Our standards:
Words directly quoted from sources other than the writer's own reporting should be attributed. That may mean saying the material came from a previous Free Press story, from a television interview, from a magazine or book or wire service report.
When other work is used as the source of ideas or stylistic inspiration, the result must be clearly your own work. That is, what is acceptable to learn from another are the elements of style and approach-tone, rhythm, vocabulary, topic ideas-and not specific words, phrases, images.
Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald
Plagiarism is one of journalism's unforgivable sins-and, at this newspaper, a dismissible offense. Material taken from other newspapers and other media must be attributed.
Rochester (N.Y.) Times-Union and Democrat and Chronicle
Using the words or the illustrations of others-writers, artists, or the publications in which their work appears-is plagiarism. It is a form of deception and it violates the spirit of this code. We should not borrow the work of others unless credit is given to them. Questions about specific applications of this guideline should be discussed with an editor.
San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News
Plagiarism exists in many forms, from the wholesale lifting of someone else's writing to the publication of a press release as news without attribution. The daily newspaper should be an original work. Do not borrow someone else's words without attribution.
Sioux Falls (S.D.) Leader
Plagiarism will not be tolerated
Tacoma (Wash.) Morning News Tribune (draft)
Staff members shall not plagiarize. When other person's unique ideas or writings are quoted or paraphrased, they must be attributed. But because the question of plagiarism is a complex issue, and absent a written policy on plagiarism, staff members should discuss issues of attribution with their supervisors on a case-by-case basis.