Washington Post apologizes for plagiarism

The Washington Post | Patrick Pexton | Washington City Paper
Washington Post Ombud Patrick Pexton says correspondent William Booth will face “severe and appropriate” action after plagiarizing parts of a story published over the weekend. The plagiarism was revealed after Pexton was alerted to it by the professor whose work was stolen.

An apology and editor’s note now sit atop that story:

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article included material borrowed and duplicated, without attribution, from Environmental Health Perspectives, a monthly scientific journal. In that earlier version, four sentences were copied in whole or in substantial part from “Progress and Pollution: Port Cities Prepare for the Panama Canal Expansion,’’ published on Dec. 3 and written by Andrea Hricko, a professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.

It is The Post’s policy that the use of material from other newspapers or sources must be properly attributed. The Post apologizes to Andrea Hricko, to Environmental Health Perspectives, and to its readers for this serious lapse.

In a statement published by Will Sommer at Washington City Paper, Booth explains:

This was not intentional. It was an inadvertent and sloppy mistake. But that is no excuse, and I apologize for it. … I also want to apologize to my editors and colleagues, and especially to the readers of the Washington Post, for my failure to measure up. I hope to regain your trust. I will work hard to do that.

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