12 March 2007

Moral boundaries revisited

Last July, I wrote about the crossing of ethical boundaries, specifically about plagiarism. My strong feelings on this issue have not changed one jot.

So, this evening, between a couple of bouts of rare TV watching, I had a quick look at my emails. One was an offer of work. I was asked to write a press release on behalf of one of these essay-selling companies. I immediately replied, explaining that I am fully booked for the next few weeks and have no spare capacity, which is absolutely true.

What I didn't say, because I was wearing my diplomatic business-person's hat, is that my skin crawls at the thought of being asked to endorse such practices by dint of bigging them up in a press release. I was even asked in the brief to stress that such companies are not unethical.

I'm not going to be a hypocrite and take this company's cash for writing words in which I do not believe. These companies, make no mistake, are unethical. I had a quick look at the testimonials on the company website and was disgusted to see students bragging about not having to do their own research because they'd been "bright" enough to pay someone else to do the work for them.

The only option was to say no. I will not bend my principles for money. You can hire me, but you can't buy me.

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