After the rather obvious plagiarism incident involving Boston Globe columnist Ron Borges yesterday, the Globe has suspended Borges for two months without pay. The union reps are standing behind Borges, but it's clear you won't see him in the paper for a while. It's all pretty much by the book; take someone else's copy as blatantly as Borges did, and you're lucky only to be suspended.
But that's not the most intriguing part of this story. In a followup to their initial report, Cold, Hard Football Facts quotes a media "insider" that Borges' crime is common and, even, accepted.
Our source said there are private media forums out there for exchanging content. Sando and Borges both participate in one of these private media forums. Apparently, it's understood that information that appears in this forum is open for use by any other participant - at least according to this source. He says that he knows that Sando published his Feb. 25 column in this forum and that the assumption for other forum participants, such as Borges, was that it was free for him to use.
OK ... what? "Private media forums?" Is this what it has come to? Have reporters become so lazy that they all have a big pool of info they just dip into whenever they need? We understand that there are "pool" reporters at certain events, but we didn't realize "the NFL" was something that required "pool" reporters. Is there a Web site where reporters just log on with a password and share material? Anybody know anything more about this? Because the scary part is not that Borges plagiarized; the scary part is that, while just changing a few words, everybody is.