Updated: It seems a week can’t go by without a new incident of plagiarism by some prominent journalist, and this week it’s Margaret Wente, a star columnist with one of Canada’s national newspapers, who has been found guilty of using content from other journalists and academics without crediting them. As others have in similar cases, Wente says it was a simple mistake, although she has apparently been disciplined (in some unknown fashion) by the paper’s editor-in-chief. But there is a much larger point here than just the fact that journalists can get sloppy, and that the internet is a fact-checking machine unlike any other: Just like Jonah Lehrer and Fareed Zakaria before her, Wente’s behavior — and the newspaper’s lackluster response to it — speaks volumes about the flaws of print and the corresponding benefits of online media and journalism.

As I’ve argued before, part of…

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