Response from Texas Watchdog Over Plagiarism Accusation

Trent Seibert, editor, Texas Watchdog
Sunday, 07/29/2012 – 09:43PM

“Plagiarism alert?”

Mr. Jensen,

Your accusation here and on your personal blog that Texas Watchdog has misappropriated the work of someone else is false, and I would add that it is a serious charge to level at another professional. I am sure you have covered this in your journalism coursework at the University of Houston.

Both the attribution and link to the original Texas Tribune story is in the third paragraph. This is our standard practice and is widely accepted in journalism and blogging circles.”

This is what the founder of had to say in response to my accusation of plagiarism.

I agree that it is a serious charge, but it’s hard to see how its false.  Just because someone cites the work in their story doesn’t mean they can not attribute a source to a story much further down the article, and also add things (the source wondering aloud, metaphorical scratch to the head) to the quote to make it look like Texas Watchdog interviewed the person.

I have mixed feelings about the intention of the author, but at the very least it seems to me to be a fairly big mistake.

It certainly  isn’t as clear cut as my previous post, in which the author (who also cited the website that she plagiarized) plagiarized a press release in its entirety.

That being said, Trent’s explanation is so insufficient that I feel my allegations have been affirmed.  He says the source was cited in the 3rd paragraph, but the quote in question was in the 8th and 9th paragraphs.

It’s surprising to me that someone with an extensive history as a journalist would make such an argument, but I’m glad he did (rather than not respond.)

Now that both sides have had their say, readers can decide who is right.


3 responses to “Response from Texas Watchdog Over Plagiarism Accusation”

  1. mike ekim says :

    The difference between the “literal scratch” and metaphorical itch is inversely proportional to the effort the author of this article put into this plagiarized paragraph. I concur with Mr.Jensen.

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