Plagiarism Suspension Levied Against Pulitzer Prize Winning Reporter

Mar 18, 2011, 07:22

Plagiarism has taken center stage on Friday as news came down today that one of the most prestigious writers for the Washington Post was found guilty of plagiarizing.

The Washington Post says it has suspended a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for plagiarizing information she used in articles about the shootings in Arizona.

The Post said it suspended veteran reporter Sari Horwitz for 90 days for lifting parts of articles that appeared in the Arizona Republic without attributing them to the newspaper.

The articles were about the investigation and legal proceedings for Jared Lee Loughner, the Tucson man accused of shooting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and 18 others in January. Six of the victims died.

"For a long time, it was viewed as an excommunication sin, beyond mortal sin," said Bob Steele, a professor of journalism ethics at DePauw University. "But nowadays, editors try to look at the full context of what happened and why it happened."

Horwitz has apologized for using material from the Republic without attribution.

"I am deeply sorry. To our readers, my friends and colleagues, my editors, and to the paper I love. I want to apologize," Horwitz said. "Under the pressure of tight deadlines, I did something I have never done in my entire career. I used another newspaper's work as if it were my own. It was wrong. It was inexcusable."

Source: UPI