NZ Herald plagiarism

I only discovered today that last week a NZ Herald journalist was found to have plagiarised a profile of Tawera Nikau. While the NZ Herald has apologised in their print edition, they have placed nothing at all online about the plagiarism which is regrettable.

I seriously question the decision of the NZ Herald to only censure, not sack, the reporter Renee Kiriona. They are trotting out excuses about how there were two versions, and the second version had more of her own material, but they are avoiding the salient point – the profile was a lie.

As the Sunday-Star Times points out, the article described scenes in the first person which never happened to the reporter. No amount of pointing to process can divert from the fact that the reporter knew that sentence was absolutely false. That must be a sackable offence for a newspaper.

If the reporter had merely used some sentences from another article, without rewriting them, that might be a case for censure. But to use someone’s else first person story and swap you for them, is just a lie.

As Finlay Macdonald states this is an “unpardonable sin”. It is disturbing that so it seems many NZ Herald journalists are trying to dismiss it as a “silly mistake” only.

People should let the NZ Herald know what they think of their soft stance of plagiarism at editor@nzherald.co.nz.

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