As somebody who has written things for a good while now, I can’t help but be just a bit disgusted and disappointed when I see stories like the tale of Jon Flatland.
Flatland, a former newspaper owner and now former humour columnist, has recently been exposed as one of the worst plagiarists in the history of newspapering by some of the people he’s been ripping off.
But as sad as stuff like this is, it’s not all doom and gloom for a guy like myself. I mean just check out some of his credentials, one in particular. Maybe the warning signs were there all along.
Poynter has obtained a copy of Flatland’s resume, which lists stints at newspapers in Missouri, Minnesota and North Dakota going back to 1985 and numerous awards, including the 2009 North Dakota Newspaper Association Appreciation Award for Best Humor Columnist, the 1998 North Dakota Education Association Media Courage Award, and the 1987 Red Falls, Minn., Jaycee of the Year. In the resume, Flatland says he was educated at Bemidji State University and Thief River Falls Technical Institute in Minnesota.
Even a humour columnist who actually writes his own material can’t make up gold like that.