There is no question that plagiarism in any form is fundamentally wrong and has no place in the world of journalism. However, if you do decide to take some liberties with “sharing content” from another source, then you would probably wise to not take material from one of the world’s most popular newspapers. Apparently Daily Mail columnist Liz Thomas did not absorb this lesson since it has been discovered that she plagiarized an entire New York Times article on how electronic devices can affect flights. Jim Romenesko laid out a side by side comparison of passages from the Daily Mail and Times and the similarities are striking.
The New York Times, Jan. 17: Many of these devices transmit a signal, and all of them emit electromagnetic waves, which, in theory, could interfere with the plane’s electronics. At the same time, older planes might not have the best shielding against the latest generation of devices, some engineers said.
The Daily Mail, Jan. 19: Most personal devices transmit a signal and all of them emit electromagnetic waves which, in theory, could interfere with the plane’s electronics. At the same time, older planes might not have the best protection against the latest generation of devices.
Now that she’s been caught and embarrassed her employer, maybe next time Thomas will think twice before hitting CTRL + V.
> Update: The Guardian reports that the Daily Mail clarified that Liz Thomas did not write the story, and that an “in-house sub-editorial error” added her byline. Further, the original story included attribution to the New York Times, but was removed in the editing process.