The Washington Post has a little egg on its face today -- this morning, the newspaper admitted to the most serious offense in the news biz: plagiarism. The victim: the Arizona Republic.
The WP published a formal apology to the Phoenix-based newspaper today, admitting that portions of two articles it published about the January 8, Tucson shooting rampage were ripped off from the pages of the Republic.
From the Washington Post (see how attribution works, WP?):
In the article about the indictment, which appeared on The Post's website on March 4 and on page A3 of the print edition of March 5, two paragraphs about a provision in federal civil rights law that applies to hate crimes were copied from the Republic's work. The article also included without attribution other facts previously reported by the Republic.
The article detailing what investigators found in their search of Loughner's home, which appeared online on March 10 and was published on page A3 in the newspaper of March 11, was substantially drawn from an article that appeared in The Republic. Ten of the article's 15 paragraphs were copied in whole or in part from an article that first appeared in the Republic.
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The WP doesn't mention the reporter responsible by name, but the articles to which it links in the web version of it's mea culpa are credited to Sari Horwitz, a nearly 30-year veteran at the paper and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner who's originally from Tucson.
Check out her impressive WP bio here.
The paper doesn't say whether disciplinary action will be taken against Horwitz, but Yahoo News reports that action was taken and it was "immediate, severe, and appropriate."