J-prof: I'd fail a student for doing what Taibbi did in Rolling Stone

City Pages | The Awl | The Cutline

In 2006, G.R. Anderson wrote a City Pages cover story ("The Chosen One") on Michele Bachmann -- a piece that Matt Taibbi borrowed liberally from for his just-posted Rolling Stone piece on the presidential candidate from Minnesota. Anderson tells Erin Carlyle:

What I will say, as a graduate of the Columbia J-School, and an adjunct at the University of Minnesota J-School, I do know that if a student handed in a story with that particular lack of sourcing, not only would I give it an 'F,' I would probably put that student on academic fraud.

Rolling Stone executive editor Eric Bates told Abe Sauer that due to space concerns, two of Taibbi's original notes attributing work to the City Pages piece had been removed. He added that he'd "get some links included in the story online."

Anderson's reaction:

I'm surprised that a publication that I respect so much would actually play so fast and loose with something as simple as citations. I do know that during my course as a reporter for City Pages and other publications, I've quoted from Rolling Stone and attributed it to something of the effect of, according to Rolling Stone magazine article. If it was space considerations for Eric Bates, I would tell him that it's very easy to cut five words somewhere else in the story, and put the five words in that actually cites the source. That strikes me as a basic tenet of good journalism.

  • Jim Romenesko

    From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August of 1999, after seeing his MediaGossip.com, a hobby site he started in May of 1999.

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