A Proposed Solution For The Affliction Known As “Quote Theft”

My god I love Michael Mann so much

“I think it is quite untrue that it is standard journalistic practice to name the interviewer when quoting from an interview. Look through the New Yorker, the New York Times, or any other prestigious publication and you will see that most quotes from interviews do NOT mention the name of the interviewer.” [Fareed Zakaria quoted by Goldberg/Atlantic]

Tima magazine (among other places) columnist Fareed Zakaria has been suspended for one month for “lifting several paragraphs by another writer” in a piece published in the August 20 issue of the magazine.

When Atlantic columnist Jeffrey Goldberg said Zakaria did the same thing to him, Zakaria sent Goldberg the above response.

Which, I must say, smacks a bit of “but, mom, all the kids are doing it!” And I gotta ask this — if your work appears online (as Zakaria’s almost always does), what’s the argument against linking to the source of the quote?

If one is so unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the standard journalistic practice of linking, maybe it’s time to head to the world of, like, PR or J school instruction or something? After all, it’s not just the right thing to do, but it can save your ass in court.

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