Toronto Star apologizes for article plagiarized from Globe And Mail

The Toronto Star published an online apology late today after it discovered one of its reporters plagiarized parts of a story from The Globe and Mail, a national paper in Canada.

“A Jan. 4 Business article about the Entertainment One takeover of Alliance Films clearing a key regulatory hurdle included unattributed material from an earlier Globe and Mail report online,” reads an apology published on the Star’s website. “The Star’s policy manual states that ‘the Star does not present other media’s reporting as its own or publish unattributed material from other sources.’ The Star apologizes to readers and to the Globe and Mail for this lapse in its standards.”

A similar apology was appended to a rewritten version of the offending piece. It carries the byline of business reporter Madhavi Acharya-Tom Yew.

Her LinkedIn profile says she has been with the Star for 17 years. She also blogs about finances for the Star’s Moneyville site, though her last post there was in August.

Below is a comparison of stolen passages:

Globe:  Its parent company Alliance Atlantis Communications was acquired by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and CanWest Global Communications Corp. in 2007, but was orphaned when Goldman sold the partnership’s broadcasting properties to Shaw Communications Inc. following CanWest’s bankruptcy.

Star: It was previously owned by Alliance Atlantis Communications, which was acquired by Goldman and CanWest Global Communications Corp. in 2007. But Alliance became an orphan when Goldman sold the partnership’s broadcasting properties to Shaw Communications Inc. following CanWest’s bankruptcy.

Globe: The company will have a combined library of more than 23,000 films including megahits such as the Twilight series, Looper, Pulp Fiction, The King’s Speech and The Hunger Games. 

Star: Its combined library will include more than 23,000 films, including the blockbuster Twilight series, Pulp Fiction, The King’s Speech and The Hunger Games.

I emailed the Star to see if Yew will be disciplined, and if the same apology will run in the paper tomorrow.

(Disclosure, I’m a former columnist for the Star and for the Globe.)

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  • camnai

    It looks like she got her facts straight out of the Globe report (but I don’t see why the Globe should be upset that someone is repeating what they say are facts as fact), and she probably wasn’t wise to repeat the word ‘orphan’, even as a noun rather than as a verb. To call this ‘plagiarism’ seems a bit over the top, though.

  • Allan Schroeder

    What’s your take on this… I can see with the first paragraph, but in the second what if she’d done just a little research and come up with a couple of different titles. There’s only so many ways you can spin something.