There have been several instances of plagiarism this year involving journalists from news organizations such as The Washington PostThe Denver Post, The Village Voice, The Kansas City Star, ESPN and, most recently, Politico.

The sanctions for journalists who plagiarize and fabricate vary. Some journalists are fired. Some are asked to take a leave of absence. Others are given second chances. It's hard to say whether news organizations have relaxed sanctions in recent years, but it's safe to say that many journalists who were caught plagiarizing have gotten back into the business.

Reuters' Jack Shafer says editors are partly to blame for not setting higher standards. Editors, he said, "have to have a heart of leather" and not make excuses for plagiarism.

So, are editors too lax when it comes to handling plagiarism? How should they handle these offenses? And how can they ultimately help prevent repeat offenses?

Shafer addressed these questions in a live chat, which you can replay here: