Plagiarism in the Fairfield Minuteman

10 Jan

A story that appeared on the front of the sports section in the print edition of the Jan. 5 Fairfield Minuteman was plagiarized from stories that appeared in two competing newspapers, the Fairfield Citizen and the Connecticut Post.
The story appeared under the headline “Warde Boys Win Prep Classic.”
The first five paragraphs of the story (except for the first three words) were verbatim identical to a Dec. 31 story in the Connecticut Post written by Pat Pickens.
Six of the remaining seven sentences of the story were verbatim identical to a Jan. 3 Fairfield Citizen story by Pickens.
The story, which appeared only in the print edition of the Minuteman, not on its website, appeared under the byline of “Staff Reports,” but was written by Sports Editor Eric Montgomery.
Montgomery is no longer an employee of the Fairfield Minuteman.
Plagiarism violates one of the most basic principles of journalism, and is a clear and unacceptable violation of the policies and standards we embrace at the Fairfield Minuteman.
It is particularly troubling that this happened after a colleague was terminated for plagiarism at a sister publication in Connecticut less than three months ago. After that incident, staff was reminded of the sacred responsibility we have in staying true to journalistic ethics and the grave consequences of violating that trust.

We apologize to Pat Pickens and the editors and staff of the Fairfield Citizen and Connecticut Post.
— Matt DeRienzo, Group Editor, Fairfield Minuteman,


2 Responses to “Plagiarism in the Fairfield Minuteman”


  1. A quiz to teach journalists about plagiarism and attribution « The Buttry Diary - February 7, 2012

    […] Connecticut newsrooms of Digital First Media have dealt with two instances of plagiarism in recent […]

  2. Best tools for digital journalists « - February 20, 2012

    […] year’s local elections. Or the time we quizzed our entire staff on plagiarism after a recent plagiarism violation was revealed at one of papers. (Take the quiz if you like, we’ve already tracked all staff […]

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