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Preventing Plagiarism: A Seal of Approval for News Publishers

Posted by Robert Creutz on Mar 2, 2010 7:36:00 AM

seal of approval1 resized 600There has been a recent series of plagiarism incidents coming out of news publications, from within large organizations like the New York Times to smaller ones like the Daily Beast.  

In most cases the individual culprit ‘resigns’ and the publication maintains that it didn’t know about the misconduct until it was pointed out by some outside source.  

The news organization usually says it will do everything possible to prevent something similar from occurring in the future, but more often than not they go back to doing things the same way as always.  

Shouldn’t publishers show their readers that they are actually taking the due diligence to prevent plagiarism?

Utilizing a plagiarism checker like iThenticate doesn’t ensure a news publication a 100% guarantee against plagiarism; however it does drastically reduce the likelihood of something slipping through the cracks.  Making iThenticate a regular part of a publication’s editorial process allows all submitted content to be cross-checked with a massive online and offline database of content, instantly highlighting any duplicate content matches. 

Not only does this process minimize the chance of a plagiarized article reaching distribution, it also serves as a ‘seal of approval’ for readers.

Using a plagiarism checker says to readers that the quality and unique nature of the content they are reading is of the utmost importance to the publisher. 

A publisher that says they care about catching plagiarism but doesn’t take the appropriate actions to back that up can’t truly tell the public that they are doing everything possible to prevent another incident from occurring.

Liken the process of consuming news content to buying produce at the supermarket. When you buy any sort of produce, it comes with a variety of labels that show it’s organic,  free range, healthy for the heart or any other number of certifications.  

These labels are meant to guarantee that the produce has gone through some sort of externally organized certification process.  

Utilizing iThenticate also certifies that a publisher has gone through an in-depth process to weed out the possibility of plagiarized content from reaching distribution.

In our current news climate, large papers are being threatened by new models of online distribution and smaller niche publications.  Standard subscriptions to papers are consistently dwindling and many large organizations are looking for new business models to stay afloat.   

Most publications realize that in some shape or form they will need to transition the majority of their distribution to an online format within the next decade or so.

When the giants of the industry make this move, certifying that their content is truly unique becomes that much more important to their business model.

For readers that are potentially paying an online subscription fee to access content, they need to be ensured that this content cannot be found elsewhere in any shape or form (otherwise why pay?). The seal of a plagiarism checker service helps to authenticate that the content truly is unique, and cannot be found elsewhere across the vast landscape of the internet or beyond.

In addition, if news publishers fully commit to the route of advertising as so many other online business do, the insurance that a plagiarism checker service provides also will come in handy. 

Recently, we’ve seen celebrities like Tiger Woods dropped from endorsement deals because of a scandal that advertisers wanted nothing to do with.

The same goes for online advertising – no right minded advertiser would want their name or brand associated with a plagiarized piece of content.  

Providing the proof that every piece of content has been run through a plagiarism checker can give advertisers the peace of mind that their money is well spent.


Silverman, Craig. “To Catch a Plagiarist ” The Columbia Journalism Review 19 Feb. 2010