Saturday, 23 February, 2019

Former NY Times editor acknowledges sourcing errors in book

Jill Abramson Faces Accusations of Plagiarism in New Book ‘Merchants of Truth’ Ex-NYT Editor Jill Abramson Defends Herself Against Plagiarism Claims
Stacy Diaz | 10 February, 2019, 16:42

And in the cases that Michael Moynihan cited, there isn't the correct, like, page number for the credited citation. "This, too, will be fixed", she wrote.

"I endeavored to accurately and properly give attribution to the hundreds of sources that were part of my research", she tweeted. Moynihan highlighted language that bears a striking resemblance to passages written for other publications.

A few hours later, she took to Twitter to issue an updated response that attacked Vice while saying she'd review the passages.

Overall, she continues to stand by her work.

The book was skewered by Vice correspondent Michael Moynihan in a series of tweets Wednesday that showed passages where Abramson's language strongly echoed that of articles penned by others.

"All I can tell you is I certainly didn't plagiarize in my book", Abramson told Martha MacCallum during an interview on Fox News Wednesday.

JILL ABRAMSON: Accuracy and devotion to the truth are so important to me.

When asked if there could've been an attribution or footnote issue in the book, the former Times editor replied: "No, I don't think this is an issue at all". So I feel I did have support. Not really. It was a factual description, not something creative that I agonized over for weeks.

MICHEL MARTIN, BYLINE: Well, I think one question might be, why did these errors happen to begin with, I mean, given that the subject of your book is about the difficulty and the cost of producing high-quality journalism in a current moment that highly prizes speed sometimes over accuracy?

In the lead-up to its February 5 publication, the book also weathered controversies related to alleged misquoting and erroneous information, particularly in its chapters about Vice News. "I wouldn't want even a misplaced comma so I will promptly fix these footnotes and quotations as I have corrected other material that Vice contested".

Abramson initially defended her work, but later told The Associated Press her book contains some sourcing errors and promised to fix them.

"All of the ideas in the book are original, all the opinions are mine", she said. "The passages in question involve facts that should have been perfectly cited in my footnotes and weren't".

The book's publisher, Simon and Schuster, says it is standing by the book but will incorporate any changes needed. She was sacked three years later after frequently clashing with fellow staff members, and now teaches creative writing at Harvard University.

For her book, Abramson was assisted by John Stillman, whom she credits with helping her with research, reporting and writing.

Writer Ian Frisch posted a thread to Twitter stating that Abramson also plagiarized him "at least seven times" - later amended to six - in "Merchants of Truth", using a 2014 profile on Thomas Morton he wrote for his own venture, Relapse Magazine.