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No Reputation is Immune to Plagiarism

Posted by David Rothschild on Feb 22, 2010 7:39:00 AM

new york times logo 300x297 150x150 resized 600The New York Times is considered America’s premiere news publication. The paper was established in 1851 and has consistently published some of the best work since its inception, including a large number of Pulitzer prize awarded pieces.  The Times has a reputation for journalistic integrity and an eye for detail.  The New York Times is also one of the largest papers in the world, publishing a large volume of content everyday both in print and online distribution formats. 

This makes the New York Times particularly susceptible to instances of plagiarism.

Last week, New York Times writer Zachary Kouwe was accused of plagiarizing content from the Wall Street Journal and Reuters.  Kouwe, who wrote articles for the New York Times business section and an online blog called ‘DealBook,’ resigned on Feburary 16th after a formal inquiry.   

Although the New York Times has a generally stellar reputation, they are no stranger to plagiarism.  In 2003, the Times’ Jason Blair became infamous for plagiarizing a number of articles without attributing the proper sources (as well as making up sources all together).

Even though the New York Times properly dealt with both of these cases and dismissed the culprits, that doesn’t mean the damage hasn’t already been done. The paper’s reputation takes a hit every time an incidence of plagiarism is revealed to the public. 

It may not seem like a huge deal, but it allows worthy competing publications (like the Wall Street Journal) to gain market share.

These are no longer the days when consumers are forced to subscribe to a single paper.  Most people across the country have the ability to subscribe to a number of national and local papers that cover the exact same news that the New York Times does. 

Online distribution also allows consumers newly minted access to a countless number of other news outlets. Every time the New York Times takes a misstep like this it gives their subscribers the opportunity to consider another option.

It is the due diligence of any publication, especially one with the repute of the New York Times, to detect and prevent any cases of plagiarism prior to distribution.

Many publications have made the use of plagiarism detection software like iThenticate a day in and day out practice for their editors.

This practice makes even more sense for a publication that pushes out daily content at a high volume like the New York Times, as something is more likely to slip through the cracks.  iThenticate fully minimizes the chances of duplicate content slipping through the cracks, as it compares any submitted piece to millions of other offline and online sources.


The New York Times. “Times Business Reporter Accused of Plagiarism Is Said to Resign ” The New York Times 17 Feb. 2010

Wikipedia contributors. “The New York Times.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 22 Feb. 2010. Web. 22 Feb. 2010.