Tonight, Canadian University Press issued another formal statement about the matter saying that because of the plagiarism, it may have to complain to the Quebec Press Council or take legal action. However, Canadian University Press would rather just get an apology, it said. “At this time we do not wish to initiate either action against one of our own members and we hope that by releasing this statement, we can publicly appeal to The Concordian and thereby prompt them to reissue their retraction,” the statement reads.
As iMediaEthics has written, The Concordian retracted an article this week that had “similarities” to an article by Canadian University Press, a “national, non-profit co-operative, owned and operated by student newspapers.” Last night, Canadian University Press’s National Bureau Chief Brendan Kergin told iMediaEthics that the Canadian University Press wasn’t satisfied with the retraction because it didn’t admit plagiarism or apologize.
Complicating matters is the fact that The Concordian is a member newspaper of the Canadian University Press and Kalina Laframboise, the Canadian University Press writer who was plagiarized, once worked for The Concordian. However, Canadian University Press noted that it doesn’t have “any authority over the internal processes or human resources decisions of its members.”
(Credit: Canadian University Press, screenshot)
Tonight’s Canadian University Press statement is signed by the co-operative’s president Erin Hudson and Kergin. The pair said they are “surprised and disappointed” by The Concordian‘s handling of the incident and failure to apologize. Canadian University Press said that formally apologizing and calling the incident plagiarism is “the responsible and transparent way” to handle things. The statement says
“We are concerned with the health of journalism at one of our member papers, The Concordian. The publication has failed to publicly recognize plagiarism, as defined by Canadian law, despite multiple requests from Canadian University Press.”
Further, “By omitting the term ‘plagiarism’ in a retraction and not issuing a direct, public apology, it is our opinion that The Concordian is jeopardizing its credibility and integrity along with the trust of both its readers and the Quebec Bureau Chief, whose job it is to work with CUP members in the Quebec region.”
Canadian University Press noted it plans to check to make sure The Concordian hasn’t plagiarized from it previously. The statement reads in part:
“CUP is also reviewing The Concordian’s articles in comparison to Laframboise’s work over the course of this academic year and we are taking steps to ensure all CUP members understand what constitutes plagiarism.”
The Canadian University Press statement included The Concordian‘s Jan. 22 “public statement” about the matter, which said Tim Weynerowski, The Concordian reporter who wrote the disputed article, claimed “he did not deliberately plagiarize Ms. Laframboise’s work, and produced supporting evidence to that effect.” What that is iMediaethics doesn’t know; The Concordian hasn’t returned three previous requests for comment. We have again written to The Concordian for more information including asking for confirmation that the statement below is accurate, what that “supporting evidence” Weynerowski provided was, and more.
The full Concordian statement, as published by Canadian University Press, reads:
“The Concordian received an e-mail alleging similarities between Ms. Laframboise’s original article for Canadian University Press and a later article by Tim Weynerowski which appeared in The Concordian. Upon examining the claims, The Concordian’s editor-in-chief Amanda Shore apologized on behalf of the newspaper to Ms. Laframboise and promised a notice would be run in our next issue.
“Mr. Weynerowski told The Concordian that he did not deliberately plagiarize Ms. Laframboise’s work, and produced supporting evidence to that effect. In the absence of evidence of willful plagiarism from Mr. Weynerowski, The Concordian used the language that most accurately represented what had happened. In addition, along with a printed apology in our Jan. 21 issue, the first published since the allegations arose, Ms. Laframboise’s original article was published in full, alongside the relevant paragraphs in Mr. Weynerowski’s later article, so that our readers were as well informed as possible.”
For more background on this case and a side-by-side comparison of the text, check out iMediaEthics’ Jan. 22 report.
UPDATE: 1/23/2014 10:17 PM EST: iMediaEthics just received the following statement from The Concordian‘s board of directors:
“The Concordian received an e-mail alleging similarities between Kalina LaFramboise’s original article for Canadian University Press and a later article by Tim Weynerowski which appeared in The Concordian. Upon examining the claims, The Concordian‘s editor-in-chief Amanda Shore apologized on behalf of the newspaper to Ms. LaFramboise and promised a notice would be run in our next issue.
“The Concordian printed a statement of regret in our January 21 issue, the first published since the allegations arose. Additionally, Ms. LaFramboise’s original article was published in full next to the statement, alongside the relevant paragraphs in Mr. Weynerowski’s later article, so that our readers were as well informed as possible as to the nature of the similarities.
“It has become clear however that the Canadian University Press and Ms. LaFramboise require us to clarify our language, as our initial statement did not explicitly use the term plagiarism. We accept this and fully recognize that the similarities amounted to plagiarism, and accept that our January 21 statement was not clear enough in this regard. We apologize to Ms. LaFramboise, the Canadian University Press, and our readers for having having allowed plagiarized material to appear in The Concordian.
“In addition to launching efforts to better educate staff about plagiarism, we will be conducting a full review of The Concordian‘s policies and procedures to make sure that measures are in place to prevent future incidents of plagiarism and to create a clear policy so that any future incidents of plagiarism are handled in an appropriate manner.”
UPDATE: 1/24/2014 3:57 PM EST: Canadian University Press just posted on its blog a “final statement” about the matter. It reads:
“We thank The Concordian for taking ownership of the plagiarism of Quebec Bureau Chief Kalina Laframboise’s work by the publication’s co news editor. We also appreciate your apology.
“We wish The Concordian luck in their review of internal policies and procedures and we would be happy to assist you in finding resources or organizing workshops. In fact, if any CUP member would like instructional resources on plagiarism, please contact us. CUP is here to support and inform.
“Erin Hudson, president and Brendan Kergin, National Bureau Chief of Canadian University Press”
UPDATE: 1/24/2014 4:48 PM EST: Kalina Laframboise, the Canadian University Press writer who was plagiarized, sends iMediaEthics this statement about the Concordian apology:
“I’m pleased to see a new retraction on behalf of The Concordian. However, I truly appreciate that my bosses at Canadian University Press publicly defended my work. That’s not always easy to do and I consider myself fortunate to have that support.”