Yesterday, Spectator published an editor's note in response to an article in Thursday's A&E section titled "Frank Lloyd Wright archives arrive at Columbia." That followed from a post on the blog Ivygate that indicated that one of our articles included plagiarized content. It became obvious that a few pieces of Jade Bonacolta's article closely mirrored a New York Times article published two days earlier, and we immediately removed the article text and replaced it with an editor's note.
A closer look led to the article's retraction within the next hour. Using the writer's interview notes, the press materials released by the University, the articles themselves, and conversations with the writer, we have now concluded that the writer both lifted text from the Times piece and created a false quote using material from the Times piece. We did not find any evidence of anything similar in her past work for Spectator.
We have absolutely no tolerance for plagiarism, and Jade's relationship with Spectator has been terminated. We were, as you may be, shocked by such a clear breach of ethics, as our editorial standards for accuracy and originality are the first things new writers learn (second only, perhaps, to their own poor lung capacity after climbing our three sets of stairs). This situation has been disappointing, but has been dealt with quickly in order not to distract from Spectator's purpose: to produce high-quality journalism every day that serves the campus and our neighborhood.
Please contact me or Maggie if you have any questions. The original editor's note can be read below.
It came to our attention this afternoon by the blog Ivygate that portions of a story in Thursday's arts and entertainment section, "Frank Lloyd Wright archives arrive at CU," contained similarities to a New York Times article published on September 3 on the same topic. A review of both articles indicated that at least three paragraphs of the story were largely identical to those in the Times piece, and we have retracted the article for not meeting Spectator's standards or originality. We will be reviewing the writer's other work for Spectator and will update readers as we know more.