The Cyberbrains

Research and contemplation in new media

Web aggregation and no context

A story you might have seen, but maybe not: The Columbia Missourian has dropped professor emeritus John Merrill’s column because it was discovered that he had some information that was unattributed that turned out to be direct lifts from the school’s student-run newspaper, the Maneater. The above link has a look at editor Tom Warhover’s explanation of what went down, but basically Merrill says he forgot to attribute the information and that while it was plagiarism, it was unintentional (read Merrill’s column and compare to the Maneater story).

Obviously, Warhover made the right call, even if it was the tough one. Unless you are a Mizzou person you might not realize how big a figure Merrill is here. He wrote such journalism classics as The Imperative of Freedom and is highly respected both at MU and outside of it.

Being a Web news hound, I immediately went to Google to see if anyone outside of here had picked the story up, and thanks to AP I got 88 hits. The posting on the San Francisco Chronicle site caught my eye because it had a discussion attached to it, mostly people who were disgusted with the situation and demanded he be fired, etc.

Continue reading


November 12, 2007 Posted by | Jeremy Littau | Leave a comment