Thursday, April 3, 2008
Plagiarism in the Park
One of Old Word Wolf's favorite places is Myakka River State Park. So it was with great interest that she turned to Susan Cairo's "Road Trip" story this morning, "Get Wild on a Myakka River tour."
Cairo gracefully recaps her experience with the park's famous and educational air-boat tour. But, apparently she didn't have enough time to walk the extraordinary bridge to the treetops.
For that mid-section in her report, she simply adopted without attribution whole phrases, sentences, and the narrative order of ideas from the same brochure I had collected during my last visit at the attraction.
Here's the evidence of Susan Cairo's plagiarism in the park; both texts are presented completely and in the order published.
Susan Cairo's 'Canopy Walkway' section of her story in the Charlotte Sun:
To observe wildlife from a true bird's-eye viewpoint, climb up 25 feet above park grounds onto the Canopy Walkway. The walkway provides viewing above old oaks and palms and a rich opportunity for the naturalist to view the wonders of the forest safely and to see what creatures live in the tops of the trees.
Her Myakka State Park brochure in a PDF format:
... Now scientists can climb safely into the high frontier to discover some of its wonders.
The Myakka Canopy Walkway provides easy access to observe life in the treetops of an oak/palm hammock. As an outdoor laboratory for research and education, it is a place for discovery and opportunity for visitors to Myakka to see its canopy inhabitants up close.
Cairo: The canopy walkway bridge extends 85 feet through the hammocks. A tower soars 74 feet in the air to present a spectacular view of treetops, wetlands and the prairie hammock interface.
Brochure: The walkway is suspended 25 feet above the ground and extends 85 feet through the hammock canopy. A tower soars 74 feet in the air to present a spectacular view of treetops, wetlands, and the prairie hammock interface.
Cairo: Staring face-to-face at eagles, hawks, vultures and other birds in flight is an exciting experience for the climber who braves the trip.
Brochure: You can look down on eagles, hawks, vultures and other birds in flight.
Cairo: Completed in June 2000, it has a practical side. It is also an outdoor laboratory for research and education. Scientists use the walkway to climb safely into the canopy to study life in the treetops. Scientists had a shock a few months after the canopy opened. An exotic weevil from Central America, accidentally released in Fort Lauderdale about 1990, had arrived in this area.
Brochure: The walkway proved its practical value with a shocking discovery a few months after it opened. An exotic weevil from Central America, accidentally released in Ft. Lauderdale about 1990, had arrived in SW Florida.
Cairo: Myakka is providing valuable information that may, one day, stop the weevil from harming vegetation.
Brochure: Myakka is providing valuable information that may, one day, stop the weevil.
Plagiarists should be called the journalism weevil. They have found safe haven at the Charlotte Sun, where editors don't check and publishers don't care. Even one fouls the nest of all.