Will Selva, an ESPNews anchor, has been sidelined after apparently plagiarizing several sentences of an Orange County Register newspaper column on Tuesday night.
Mr. Selva said in a statement that he had made a “horrible mistake” by copy-and-pasting the text of the story and forgetting to then write a script in his own words.
Television networks often rely on newspapers for reporting, but using the same words without attribution is a violation of journalistic standards. The words were originally written by Kevin Ding, who covers the Los Angeles Lakers for the Register.
I don't ever expect this to change, but: I'm still not sure why it's ok to steal reporting but not writing. Often, radios and TV networks at least attribute the report they're stealing -- but not always. And that's a bit of a breach of decorum, but nobody ever really gets fired for it. Steal a phrase or a few sentences, though, and your career is over. Smart journalists know that they can stay employed if they paraphrase somebody else's work.