'Hartford Courant' Admits Plagiarism, Offers Apology

By: E&P Staff Following an experiment in which The Hartford (Conn.) Courant aggregated news from across the state -- and in the process, posted content that wasn't theirs, without attribution, the newspaper apologized to readers Friday in a note from its CEO, President & Publisher, Richard J. Graziano.

"After an extensive internal review, we have determined that over the last several weeks The Courant plagiarized the work of some of our competitors," Graziano wrote. "This was not our intent, but it is in fact what happened. We are taking corrective action to prevent it from happening again. We have also disciplined the individuals involved." He did not elaborate on the latter statement.

"We've been in business for 245 years. We've earned a reputation for integrity and we take it very seriously," he continued. "Throughout our history we have served the community by highlighting wrongdoing and violations of ethics when we find them. It is only right that we focus the same light on ourselves when we are wrong."

Last week, Chris Powell, managing editor of The Journal Inquirer in Manchester, Conn., complained in a letter to Graziano that the Courant had been "misappropriating on a wholesale basis local stories published in the Journal Inquirer" since late July, according to a Journal Inquirer report. Jeffrey S. Levine, the Courant's senior vice president and director of content, said the letter prompted the Courant's review of its aggregation practices.

"There is nothing more sacred to a newspaper than its credibility. It is my responsibility to point out our ethical violations and tell you that this newspaper's staff and I are deeply sorry. We apologize to our readers, competitors and advertisers."

Read the Courant's mea culpa, here.


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