Three student journalists no longer work for Rochester Institute of Technology’s Reporter magazine after “discoveries of plagiarism within two recent stories,” according to College Media Matters. The Reporter is identified as “the nation’s only full-color weekly college magazine.”
The Reporter retracted the articles in question and apologized for the plagiarism and for “allowing this breach of journalistic professionalism to take place.”
In a “statement from the editorial board” posted on The Reporter’s website April 20, the newspaper explains that RIT SportsZone told The Reporter that a Reporter article used “verbatim” content from both “student-run…bi-weekly television program” SportsZone and the RIT University News.
The editorial board note explained that the magazine looked at the article in question and “determined that an alarming amount of content was taken from these two sources, as well as from the College Television Awards website, without attribution.” The note mentioned that in the review, the board also spotted errors. The magazine looked over “the writer’s entire body of work” and found another instance of plagiarism. That writer wasn’t named, but the two plagiarized articles are identfied as “RIT SportsZone: Rising to the Top” and “A Woman’s Guide to Manscaping.”
The Reporter wrote that it fired the writer and “The editors responsible for both articles have agreed to step down voluntarily as soon as we have selected replacement.” The Reporter explained its “editorial process” as well in the note.
“Once an article is submitted, it is reviewed by a section editor, who passes it along to the managing editor, copy editor and editor in chief. These editors check it for accuracy and objectivity before approving it for print. In addition, writers are required to list the sources they use in their articles to prevent plagiarism and aid editors in the fact checking process.”
The plagiarism incident was described as “an embarrassment” and a “breakdown” in the editorial process. Moving forward, the magazine said it will beef up “training” for the “editorial board,” consider getting “anti-plagiarism sotware” and examine “our editorial policy regarding fact checking and attribution.”
We have written to SportsZone asking if it is satisfied with The Reporter’s reaction to this incident and Reporter and will update with any response.