Is there a better example of what's wrong with the media today than a former journalism professor getting fired for plagiarism?
I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry.
As reported by the Associated Press Monday (emphasis added):
A distinguished University of Missouri-Columbia journalism professor will no longer write a weekly newspaper column after admitting to plagiarizing material from a student reporter.
John Merrill, a professor emeritus at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, also wrote a Sunday column for the Columbia Missourian, a community newspaper affiliated with the school.
But a Nov. 4 column by Merrill about the university's women's and gender studies program used three quotes and other phrases taken directly from an Oct. 5 story in The Maneater, an independent student newspaper.
Missourian Executive Editor Tom Warhover disclosed the plagiarism in his own column Sunday. A review of Merrill's earlier work by Missourian editors found five more columns in which at least one quote had been taken from other publications without attribution, Warhover wrote.
Merrill is a former director of the Louisiana State University journalism school and has also taught at Northwestern State, Texas A&M, Maryland, Virginia, California State University, Long Beach, and the University of North Carolina.
He is a past winner of the Missouri Honor Medal for distinguished journalism service and a member of the Louisiana State and Iowa journalism halls of fame. Merrill has lectured and taught in more than 70 countries, according to his biography.