Lee Wilkins, a Missouri School of Journalism professor and the editor of the Journal of Mass Media Ethics, who also reviewed examples from the book, said, “The general rule in journalism is you cite the source of your information. Secondly, the norm in journalism is we don’t steal. I would regard this as a violation of academic (honesty).”
Keller, also a Herald contributor, referred questions to his book editor and said the editor told him that footnotes were not necessary. Editor Michael Flamini did not return requests for comment…..
The newspaper articles Keller used date as far back as 1988 to as recent as 2006, covering such issues as the 2006 deadly Big Dig collapse, a city hall “holiday tree” flap and gay marriage. In some instances, multiple quotes are lifted from a single article.
Keller’s 250-page text on Bay State politics has an index, and the book does credit some of the material he culled from the Globe and Herald.
But Keller’s book does not have any footnotes, chapter notes or a bibliography. According to Freedman, that leads the “reader to think, ‘Gee, this enterprising author did all these interviews. How impressive. How hard-working,’ and it’s the opposite. All he did was take quotes that other journalists had gotten and then passed them off as if he was the person who had gotten the quotes.
“Any working journalist,” Freedman added, “would know these basic rules.”
It’s bad enough that Keller is so self-satisified. But you can’t justify being full of yourself in public when you’re this lazy.