Interested in learning more about the recent onslaught of plagiarism by professional journalists, and how it’s affecting the field? Below is a press release from the American Copy Editors Society describing their first ever Plagiarism and Fabrication Summit, to be held April 5, 2013 in St. Lous, MO.

NATIONAL JOURNALISM ORGANIZATIONS UNITE FOR SUMMIT TO STOP PLAGIARISM AND FABRICATION

April 5 summit to feature industry panel discussion, training sessions and e-book release

(January 23, 2013) – The year 2012 was arguably the worst for recorded cases of plagiarism and fabrication by professional journalists, prompting the nation’s leading journalism organizations to unite for the first time to collectively combat the problem.

On April 5, representatives of the American Copy Editors Society (ACES), Associated Press Media Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Online News Association, the American Society of News Editors, the Canadian Association of Journalists, the Radio-Television Digital News Association and Local Independent Online News Publishers will meet
in St. Louis for the National Summit on Plagiarism and Fabrication.

The summit will feature a panelist discussion on the common causes of plagiarism, steps to prevent it and how to handle incidents. The summit is free of charge and open to journalists, members of the media and others working in the communications industry. Following the summit, training sessions will be held on topics including aggregation versus plagiarism, social media plagiarism and plagiarism in the classroom. Registration for the afternoon sessions is $50.

“We are very excited to be playing an integral role in bringing this important summit to the communications industry,” said Teresa Schmedding, president of ACES, which is organizing the event.

The need for industry action was initially raised by Poynter Institute’s Craig Silverman in a blog last fall. Silverman cited cases in which journalists and media groups with good reputations were guilty of plagiarizing, falsifying information, faking bylines and reporting inaccurate or unverified information.

As a result, Schmedding called on other journalism organizations to join forces to fight the problem.

“These cases put a black eye on all of journalism,” Schmedding said. “Credibility has always been critical, but never more than now when media companies and trained journalists are telling readers their news is worth paying for because they are more reliable.” An e-book on the topic of plagiarism and fabrication is currently being developed by members of journalism organizations, as well as working journalists from all platforms, and industry experts and academics. The free e-book will be released during the summit in April and remain available for download following the event.

“Our goal with the e-book is to put tools in the hands of working journalists to help fight the problem,” said Schmedding, who also is the deputy managing editor/digital operations of the Daily Herald Media Group in suburban Chicago. “Our goal with the summit is to make sure this is the beginning of the conversation, not the end.”

“The timing couldn’t be better,” said Bob Heisse, past president of the Associated Press Media Editors and executive editor of the State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill. “Our landscape has changed so much,” Heisse said. “Just from the newspaper perspective we don’t have many ombudsmen positions anymore and we don’t have as many people editing stories as copy desks have consolidated. All that combined with new ways to deliver information instantly makes this an important time to ensure industry standards and ethics.”

Summit Information:

What: National Summit on Plagiarism and Fabrication

When: 9 a.m. – noon on Friday, April 5

Where: Arch View Ballroom, Ballpark Hilton St. Louis, One South Broadway, St. Louis

Cost: Anyone may attend the summit free of charge, but you must RSVP. The conference is running in conjunction with the ACES national conference. Attendees can attend a welcome reception, banquet or additional sessions for a fee.

To register: https://secure.copydesk.org/summit/step1.php

For information on the ACES conference, see http://stl.copydesk.org

For a list of committee participants, see http://www.copydesk.org/3451/plagiarism-and-fabrication-group-hard-at-work.

For more information on the summit or interview opportunities, contact tschmedding@copydesk.org.

ABOUT AMERICAN COPY EDITORS SOCIETY
ACES, the American Copy Editors Society, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) education and membership organization working toward the advancement of copy editors. Our aim is to provide solutions to editing problems, training and a place to discuss common issues. ACES is an international members’ alliance of editors working at newspapers, magazines, online news sites, public relations and marketing agencies and corporations. ACES was started in 1997 by Pam Robinson of Long Island, N.Y., and Hank Glamann of Houston. Today, ACES has a presence throughout the U.S., as well as internationally. For more information, visit www.copydesk.org.