Worcester Telegram & Gazette Plagiarized Herald
Boston Daily has learned that the Worcester Telegram & Gazette recently ran an editorial that contained a quote lifted directly from the Boston Herald without attribution.
“It was an oversight, basically,” said Telegram Editorial Page Editor George French.
Last Friday, the Telegram printed an editorial titled “To Kill Again?” The editorial was about convicted killer Daniel Tavares who, a few weeks after being released from a Massachusetts prison, killed a Washington state couple. The Telegram story begins with this quote by the father of the slain woman:
Darrel Slater said, “It’s because of stupidity in Massachusetts that my daughter is dead. … How does a guy who killed his mother, gets charged with more crimes, get out of jail? How can he leave the state?”
Two days earlier, the same quote appeared word-for-word in a Herald story penned by Michele McPhee and Jessica Van Sack:
“It’s because of stupidity in Massachusetts that my daughter is dead,” said Darrel Slater, 55… “How does a guy who killed his mother, get charged with more crimes, get out of jail? How can he leave the state?”
Reached this morning at the Telegram office, French told Boston Daily that he’d spoken with McPhee, but that the Telegram had no plans to run a correction or an apology at this point. The Telegram is owned by the New York Times Company, which also owns the Herald’s chief competitor, the Boston Globe.
When asked whether it was standard practice for the Telegram to use another paper’s reporting without attribution, French said, “No, no it’s not. I really can’t…this is something we’ve covered with our own reporters, but we use, we look at material from other sources. This is something we take very seriously. We used the Herald as a source [last] Saturday with full attribution.”
French said that he alone was responsible for the mistake, and that he would talk with the Telegram’s publisher about the error, though he hasn’t yet. In 2005, Telegram reporter Ken Powers was fired after lifting material from Sports Illustrated’s Peter King in a column about the Patriots.
UPDATE: George French just called. He said the Telegram has posted an “amplification” on its website that credits the Herald. He also said the same language will run in tomorrow’s print edition. Meanwhile, the Herald has weighed in.