S. Myers (Poynter): Johann Hari blames plagiarism on ignorance, pledges to post audio of all interviews in the future

The Independent | Guardian | Forbes
Johann Hari, a columnist for The Independent, will take four months of unpaid leave, return a journalism prize and undergo journalism training after admitting to plagiarizing material from the published works of people he interviewed and editing Wikipedia entries of people in “juvenile or malicious” ways (e.g. labeling people homophobic, drunks and anti-Semites). Hari blames the plagiarism on ignorance, saying he substituted muddled interviews with published work to best represent what the interviewee thought. In the future, he’ll footnote all his articles and publish audio of all interviews. Forbes’ Jeff Bercovici writes that Hari’s claim of ignorance is the most unforgivable: “Because he ‘rose very fast in journalism straight from university,’ he never had a chance to learn that making it look like someone said something to you that they actually said to someone else is wrong. … Journalism is filled with people who rose fast and/or received no formal training. Most of us … never had to be told you can’t steal quotes.” || Related: Have newsrooms relaxed standards, sanctions for fabrication and plagiarism?

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