Deseret News Finds Five More Columns with Attribution Issues, Suspends Unpa

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The Deseret News announced Sept. 4 that it finished its review of the Eyres' work. (Credit: Deseret News, screenshot)

Utah-based daily newspaper The Deseret News suspended the publication of a column by Linda and Richard Eyre for a month because of their failure to attribute information, according to a statement published by the newspaper. 

As iMediaEthics previously wrote, the Deseret News unpublished a July 31 column by Richard Eyre and admitted that “several paragraphs” were verbatim from the New York Times without credit. Eyre told us his column “was intended to be largely excerpts” from the Times and that he apologized to the Times‘ writer, Adam Grant. (Check out iMediaEthics’ examination of Eyre’s original column before the Deseret News unpublished it)  Because of that incident, the Deseret News said it was reviewing the Eyres’ work.

According to the Sept. 4 statement on the Deseret News‘ website, the newspaper reviewed “all of the nearly 300 Richard and Linda Eyre columns published in the Deseret News since November 2010″ and discovered five articles that failed to “properly” credit sources.  The Deseret News “listed,” “annotated and corrected online” the five articles.

The articles in question now contain notes at the top of each article saying “the original version of this column failed to attribute a passage,” crediting the original writer, and saying when the column was published in print. The Deseret News wrote:

The Deseret News demands accuracy in attribution and sourcing. We require columnists to submit articles that are original and appropriately cited. The Eyres have acknowledged the seriousness of these lapses and apologized to those involved.”

The articles lifted from the Washington Post, the National Marraige Project at the University of Virginia, Wikipedia, The New York Times, and a man named Elder L. Tom Perry,

Four of the five articles were published after April 2013; the last column in question was published in October 2011.

Despite the now six columns in total from the Eyres with attribution issues, the Deseret News indicated that it plans to continue publishing work from the couple once the suspension is up.  “We realize that many of our readers have benefited from the Eyres’ voice on family issues and anticipate a return of the Eyres’ column,” the Deseret News added.

Jim Romenesko noted that Richard Eyre told the Salt Lake Tribune that he and his wife “write our columns as unpaid volunteers” but still “should have been more careful.”

iMediaEthics wrote to the Washington Post and the New York Times asking if it received an apology from the Deseret News or the Eyres. The New York Times declined to comment. We will update with any response from the Washington Post.

We’ve reached out to the Deseret News’ editor Paul S. Edwards asking why it unpublished the first instance of lifting but just corrected the others. We also asked for confirmation that the Deseret News intends to continue publishing the Eyres despite knowing of numerous attribution issues, and if yes, why and what extra scrutiny will be applied. Finally, we’ve contacted the Eyres about the findings from the review of their work. We’ll update with any responses.

Hat Tip: Jim Romenesko

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Deseret News Finds Five More Columns with Attribution Issues, Suspends Unpaid Columnists for a Month

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