Newspapers, and media in general, take their duty to inform and serve the communities in which they publish very seriously. This is because readers or viewers must be able to trust them. The more damaging plagiarism is to both the credibility and that carefully built trust, the more reason there is to doubt such sources of information.
One of the cardinal sins of journalism is plagiarism, the act of passing something off as your own work when it isn’t. This would include passing off news releases with minimal rewrites as news.
The fact that The Oracle is a student-operated college paper does not lessen the impact such a clear violation of that underlying rule of the journalistic profession. If anything, it is even worse that it happened at a paper whose main audience is college students and staff who are told every semester that plagiarism is not acceptable.
This weekend’s changes at The Oracle are intended both to reflect how seriously we take our jobs and we hope that readers interpret the changes in the way they were intended: Even though mistakes were made, we are working hard to be a credible source of information for the USF community and intend to do anything necessary to rebuild any trust that may have been undermined due to the mistakes made.
Actions were taken and we are working diligently to keep the mistakes from occurring again.
We would like our readers to know that The Oracle staff took such a clear violation by not only one of their own, but their leader, very seriously. Over the coming weeks we will work hard to re-establish our credibility.