Friday, October 21, 2005

Bakersfield plagiarism

The latest plagiarism scandal is at the Bakersfield Californian over a story about children's reactions to smoking where a reporter is accused of lifting quotes from elsewhere. As too often happens in these cases, there were warning signs that were ignored or glossed over before the ceiling caved in.

From today's follow-up (reg. req.) to the earlier story on the Nada Behziz flap:

Six months before a Californian reader alerted editors to a stolen quote that ran in a front-page story Sunday -- a story that turned out to contain plagiarized passages and fabricated sources -- a letter from a local doctor indicated another story by the same reporter contained plagiarized information.

But the tip, in a 2 1/2-page letter documenting inaccuracies in the article due to technical differences between CT scans and ultrasounds, went unnoticed.

Executive Editor Mike Jenner is featured on a podcast "Behind the Story," a regular feature of the site but, in this case I think a fairly effective way of humanizing the story and letting readers under the tent.


At 10/23/05, 2:53 PM, Blogger Nick Belardes said...

The Bakersfield Californian is definitely under hot water right now. In fact, I'm the top local grassroots journalist out of Bakersfield with several blogs... In a strange set of events I commented on their "Talk of the Town" blog and implicated how I found one of their staff members plagiarizing back in the 1980s while in a local college. I wrote that I wasn't surprised that it happened, that there are bad eggs everywhere and diligence is the key. But then my comment mysteriously disappeared even though there were other critical comments on the section. Their excuse was that it was unsubstantiated. A local college paper with a reporter plagiarizing government papers never went uncovered? I find that hard to believe... but then, this is a paper who gladly traps my online traffic, copied me after I had the first podcast out of Bakersfield, and, won't write a review of my new book, quite possibly because it is a fiction work on The Lords of Bakersfield who were part of a corrupt media... strange they even have me in their blog community... This is the forum I have gone public in my personal battle with the strangeness of current Bakersfield media corruption.


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