New Republic reports plagiarism allegations against Pulitzer-winner Chris Hedges

The New Republic

A fact-checker at Harper's caught plagiarism in a manuscript submitted by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Chris Hedges in 2010, according to a New Republic article today. Sections of the draft were apparently lifted from then Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Matt Katz's work the previous year.

The Harper's incident was part a pattern of Hedges lifting material from other sources, Christopher Ketcham writes:

The plagiarism at Harper’s was not an isolated incident. Hedges has a history of lifting material from other writers that goes back at least to his first book, War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, published in 2002. He has echoed language from Nation author Naomi Klein. He has lifted lines from radical social critic Neil Postman. He has even purloined lines from Ernest Hemingway.

The Harper's fact-checker told Ketcham that Hedges was "very unhelpful from the beginning, and very aggressive." Here's part of what Hedges told Ketcham in response to claims of plagiarism:

“It has always been my experience working with editors over many years that we work together to fully source and vet an article,” Hedges continued. “Thus, at this stage a charge of plagiarism was at once shocking and unwarranted. … The final, published material is what counts.”

But Ketcham also outlines other published passages by Hedges that are very similar to or identical in wording to work by other writers.

  • Sam Kirkland

    Sam Kirkland is Poynter's digital media fellow, focusing on mobile and social media trends. Previously, he worked at the Chicago Sun-Times as a digital editor, where he helped launch digital magazines and ebooks in addition to other web duties.

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