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Interesting plagiarism case

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by statrat, May 3, 2007.

  1. statrat

    statrat Member

    Sorry if this is a DB but a search came up with nothing...

    Apparently a sports reporter in Virginia borrowed not only from the Washington Post and ESPN.com, but the local high school paper as well. Wow.



    [Edit: Didn't have to copy "plagiarism" from anywhere, just had to check the spelling) ;D
  2. Left_Coast

    Left_Coast Active Member

    Re: Interesting plagarism case

    Discussed earlier and thread locked and now nuked because of an outing situation.
  3. statrat

    statrat Member

    Re: Interesting plagarism case

    Didn't know, sorry. Go ahead and nuke this one too then moddys.
  4. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Re: Interesting plagarism case

    It's OK to discuss it. As I said on the other one, any time this happens we are all affected and not in a good way.
    Just keep the outing out. That's never good.
  5. statrat

    statrat Member

    Re: Interesting plagarism case

    Thanks Moddy.
    Being that I don't know too many East Coasters, I don't think I'll be outing anybody. That said, why would somebody even think they could get away with stealing, much less stealing from the Post, ESPN and the HIGH SCHOOL NEWSPAPER! Why!?!?! It blows my mind.
  6. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Re: Interesting plagarism case

    Every time it happens, I ask those questions. So do many others. Yet it happens again. Mark my words. A month from now, we'll read about it again.
    Don't know if it is some odd combination of stupid and lazy or what. Blows my mind, too.
  7. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Re: Interesting plagarism case

    stealing from a High School paper? Wow...
  8. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Re: Interesting plagarism case

    A high school newspaper, though. It just boggles my mind. My niece is on her high school paper. Very bright kid, serious about becoming good at it, surprises me sometimes with what she knows, knows what's happening in the biz and still wants to major in journalism when she gets to college in, gulp, September 2009. But still. The thought of a paid professional plagiarizing one of her stories just makes me laugh. The kid just started working at Starbucks. She is taking driving lessons. A few years ago I was buying her toys.
  9. Bump_Wills

    Bump_Wills Member

    Re: Interesting plagarism case

    Isn't it odd how many people can't spell plagiarism, given how often it happens? (See title of this thread.)

    Seriously, just find somewhere it's spelled correctly and copy it.
  10. ondeadline

    ondeadline Active Member

    Re: Interesting plagarism case

    Copying somebody else's spelling work? That's appropriate for this story. :)
  11. Pops

    Pops Member

    Re: Interesting plagarism case

    To all curious, here is a link to a cached version of one of the articles in question:,0,7783744.story%3Fcoll%3Dva-sports+%22Bryan+L.+Fuell%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=4&gl=us

    And here is the Post story:


    Needless to say, this is pretty ridiculous.
  12. Bud_Bundy

    Bud_Bundy Member

    Re: Interesting plagarism case

    I posted this on the nuked thread. It's a letter from the school board to the paper:


    May 1, 2007

    W.C. O'Donovan, Publisher
    Rusty Carter, Managing Editor
    Virginia Gazette
    216 Ironbound Road
    Williamsburg, VA 23188

    Mr. O'Donovan and Mr. Carter:

    The latest example of journalistic irresponsibility displayed by the Gazette is absolutely
    breathtaking in its egregiousness, and will not go unanswered by this School Division or
    this community.

    In the Wednesday, April 25, edition of the Gazette on the front page of the sports section
    (page 1B) is an article headlined “Calling the Shots,” with a byline of Bryan L. Fuell, a
    Gazette sportswriter. In good faith, the community believed it to be a feature about the
    Lafayette High School girls’ tennis team, complete with quotes from two of their players
    and their coach.

    Thanks to some alert people in the community, however, it was discovered that this story
    had been plagiarized, nearly word for word, from a story that had been published in the
    Washington Post on Tuesday, April 17, under the byline of Post Staff Writer Preston
    Williams. To make matters even worse, the quotes attributed to the Lafayette players and
    coach were falsely attributed to them, having actually been uttered by players and a coach
    of a high school in the metro Washington area.

    The quotes, when put falsely in the mouths of our local students, made them appear to be
    cheaters and poor sports, and have devastated the families involved. This approaches

    Plagiarism in responsible journalistic circles is an offense for which immediate
    termination of the offending writer is the standard and accepted course of action. In
    recent high-profile cases, both the Post and The New York Times fired reporters when it
    was discovered they had plagiarized and/or manufactured fictitious material.

    This most recent example is especially disturbing, not only for the reasons stated above
    but because it isn’t the first time this reporter has been caught plagiarizing. On Feb. 10,
    Mr. Fuell lifted almost verbatim a story about a Jamestown tennis player from the
    Jamestown High School student newspaper, The Eagle Eye. The photo credit also was

    To plagiarize a news story from one of the nation’s most respected newspapers, call it
    one’s own, and then reassign quotes to local people, thus besmirching the character of our
    students, goes beyond common decency.

    We will insist upon the following:
    1.) A full admission of the plagiarism in a published article prepared by you, along
    with separate, written apologies to the coach and the two players for falsely
    attributed quotes.
    2.) That Mr. Fuell be fired, in accordance with standard journalistic ethical practices.
    We understand from outside sources that this has taken place; if true, we applaud
    the Gazette for doing the right thing.
    3.) An editorial by Mr. O’Donovan detailing for the community the steps he will take
    to ensure that plagiarism does not occur again in the pages of the Gazette.

    As for the Division, we will:
    1.) Notify Washington Post reporter Preston Williams of the fact that his story was
    plagiarized, so that the Post may take whatever actions they deem appropriate.
    2.) Notify the Tribune Co., the parent company of the Gazette that owns the

    We must take these actions for our students to see that those in the professional world are
    held accountable and that true professionals make every attempt to correct damage done.

    Our students, and indeed our community, also will see that, if those steps fail to be taken,
    that their School Division will do whatever is necessary to ensure that the journalism that
    serves this community is responsible.

    Denise W. Koch, Chair, Williamsburg-James City Co. School Board
    Ron Vaught, Vice Chair
    Gary S. Mathews, Ph.D., Superintendent, W-JCC Schools
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