Steve Penn, a former Kansas City Star staffer who was fired for plagiarism in July of 2011 after using press release copy in more than a dozen of his columns, is now suing McClatchy Newspapers, the Star’s owner, asking for $25,000 plus punitive damages. As Poynter.org reports, Penn’s legal complaint argues that “widespread practice in journalism is to treat such releases as having been voluntarily released by their authors … with the intention that the release will be reprinted or republished … with no or minimal editing.”
Penn says that copying from press releases was always allowed at the Star and that he was fired because the paper’s management failed to make clear that a shift in policy had occurred, and then a supervisor decided to make an example of him. By calling his work plagiarism, the paper damaged his professional reputation and caused him to lose job opportunities, Penn says....
[Intriguing question... JD]
Via Jeff Domansky