Former NYT Executive Editor Allegedly Plagiarized Several Portions Of New Book

Clay Curtis
February 10, 2019

She then added two more tweets, saying, "I endeavored to accurately and properly give attribution to the hundreds of sources that were part of my research", and later, "I take seriously the issues raised and will review the passages in question". The syllabus for her "Journalism in the Age of Trump" class assigns Merchants of Truth as required reading.

Jill Abramson, former executive editor at the New York Times, speaks during commencement ceremonies for Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, North Carolina, May 19, 2014.

Abramson has also attracted attention in recent days for stating in The Cut that she doesn't record interviews. These days, she's promoting her new book "Merchants of Truth", which bills itself as the "definitive report on the disruption of the news media over the last decade", and takes aim at digital media newcomers like Vice and BuzzFeed. "My book has 70 pages of footnotes and 100 source citations in the Vice chapters alone, including The New Yorker, the Columbia Journalism Review, The Ryerson Review of Journalism and a masters' thesis, the sources from which Mr. Moynihan says I plagiarized".

JILL ABRAMSON: Accuracy and devotion to the truth are so important to me. In 2011, she made history as the first woman to be the Times' executive editor, but was sacked three years later amid repeated clashes with colleagues.

While it's true that footnotes were provided for some of the offending passages, many have argued that such extensive borrowing - in some cases excerpts from other sources were retooled nearly verbatim - would require Abramson to credit sources directly in her text. She now teaches creative writing at Harvard University.

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It's jaw-dropping that the most basic, essential rules appear to have been ignored here, in a highly publicized book by a big name journalist who teaches at Harvard about writing and journalism.

Maybe the publisher should reconsider their current pitch? My book has 70 pages of footnotes, and almost 100 source citations in the Vice chapters alone. Hence in order to have access to it, she must visit the site.

"The attacks on my book from some @vicenews reflect their unhappiness with what I consider a balanced portrayal", she argued. Abramson says she will "review" the passages in question.

"In several of these cases, the language is too close for comfort, and should have been specifically cited in the footnotes correctly", Abramson told NPR.

"The problem here is that though I did cite these publications and try to credit everybody perfectly, I fell short", she admits. "Or put in quotations in the book". The notes don't match up with the right pages in a few cases, and this was unintentional and will be promptly corrected. "I'm going to fix those pronto and am determined to make my book flawless and will fix these things as absolutely soon as I can".

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