NABJ Treasurer Resigns After Plagiarism Reported

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By: Margaret Stafford, Associated Press Writer

(AP) A Kansas City Star reporter resigned as treasurer of the National Association of Black Journalists this week after an alternative newspaper reported he had been disciplined by the newspaper for plagiarism a year ago.

Glenn Rice did not cite the matter in a resignation letter he sent to the NABJ, the association’s president, Condace Pressley, said in an e-mail to members Monday.

Rice had served nearly four years as treasurer for the association, after serving four years as director of the group’s Midwest region.

The plagiarism was brought to light last week by The Pitch, an alternative Kansas City weekly.

The Star‘s editor, Mark Zieman, confirmed Monday that the paper disciplined Rice for a concert review he wrote of jazz singer Dianne Reeves in May 2002. The review contained paragraphs with little or no changes from reviews in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale and The Seattle Times.

Zieman said the Star investigated the matter at the time and took several disciplinary steps against Rice, including reassignment from the Jackson County, Mo., government beat to covering the northern suburbs of Kansas City.

Rice declined to comment Tuesday. His term as treasurer was scheduled to end in one month.

Pressley did not immediately return a telephone call from The Associated Press. In her e-mail, she said she accepted Rice’s resignation with “mixed emotions.”

She stressed that the matter was between Rice and the Star and had nothing to do with his work for the association.

“Nonetheless, NABJ maintains its stance on the issue of plagiarism,” Pressley wrote. “NABJ maintains plagiarism hurts all journalists regardless of ethnicity or background.”

Pressley said Rice had served admirably during his years with the association, which she said was “as fiscally healthy as it has ever been.”

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