Tuesday, January 15, 2019


Welcome to the land of pet peeves this morning. It’s a local story, and it’s an Everywhere You Look story: giving credit. Lots of people don’t.

Sharing an inspirational quote? Who said it? Sharing a song lyric? Who wrote it? (Not the singer, the composer.) The same holds for a line from a movie. Credit the writers, not the actor. Yeah, I know, nobody does that. But trust me. The actor would never have said it without the writer.

In local stories, always, always give credit. Don’t use someone else’s photo without a photo credit. I try to get permission from local individuals first. If another person’s article or blog post pointed you in the right direction to address an issue, give them a shout out. If you learned valuable information from somewhere, give a link to your source.

There seems to be a sense that once a piece of writing is up on the Internet, it’s fair game for copying and pasting. While it is there for other people to see, that doesn’t mean it’s okay to take credit for their work or use it to get more hits, etc. I may seem “old school” to some but I still follow pretty much the same rules I learned when writing research papers and essays: credit your sources. Don’t even give the appearance that you are forwarding others’ work as your own.

Just because there’s no teacher reading over your shoulder to catch you swiping other people’s stuff doesn’t mean those actions don’t matter anymore. Remember,

Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching. (paraphrase of a Charles Marshall quote in Shattering the Glass Slipper)

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