Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

New York Times's ex-Executive Editor accused of plagiarism in new book

Jill Abramson Faces Accusations of Plagiarism in New Book ‘Merchants of Truth’ Ex-NYT Editor Jill Abramson Defends Herself Against Plagiarism Claims
Charles Bowen | 10 February, 2019, 16:43

From what we've seen here, however, it's evident that there are many passages where she does not make it clear that quotes are taken from other reporters' profiles and interviews (rather than the implication that the subject spoke to her directly). When advance galleys of Merchants of Truth circulated three weeks ago, journalists at Vice pointed out that it contained several errors in the section on their media outlet.

"The attacks on my book from some in @vicenews reflect their unhappiness with what I consider a balanced portrayal", she wrote. Here's a bit of background on the book: Abramson's Merchants of Truth, in its official summary, promises to be "the groundbreaking and gripping story of the precarious state of the news business told by one of our most eminent journalists".

In her book, Abramson tracks the rise of BuzzFeed and Vice, alongside the struggles of The New York Times and The Washington Post to stay afloat in the digital age.

She denied the allegations, outlined in a Twitter thread by Vice News Tonight correspondent Michael Moynihan, during an appearance on Fox News on Wednesday.

One passage describing Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes is an nearly word-for-word duplication of something Weeks wrote in 2005 for the Ryerson Review of Journalism, a twice-annual publication by the Toronto university's final-year journalism students. "He lamented the views of his magazine's readers, saying they were 'brainwashed by communist propaganda'".

Appearing on Wednesday night on Fox News, Abramson was asked if she had any comment on the plagiarism accusations. "All I can tell you is I certainly didn't plagiarize in my book and there's 70 pages of footnotes showing where I got the information", she said, according to the Washington Post.

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In an email Thursday to The Associated Press, Jill Abramson wrote that some page numbers in sourcing notes needed to be fixed and some sources "should have been cited as quotations in the text". Numerous passages show Abramson's book lifting identical sentences from sources, while others show slightly rearranged phrasing or substituted words.

Abramson appears to be dodging any major responsibilities, however, promising that changes will be made in order to make her book "flawless". She was sacked three years later after frequently clashing with fellow staff members, and now teaches creative writing at Harvard University. She was sacked in May 2014. She now teaches creative writing at Harvard University. "I came up with, and I still do read the New York Times every single day".

Her book comes at a time of heightened scrutiny - and sometimes outright animosity - towards towards the media.

She added, "In writing Merchants of Truth, I tried above all to accurately and properly give attribution to the many hundreds of sources that were part of my research".

"There are people in our industry who plagiarize".

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