Tallahassee Democrat sports reporter resigns after plagiarizing: ‘I am sincerely sorry’

October 3, 2014

Tallahassee Democrat

A Florida State University sports reporter for the Tallahassee Democrat has resigned after plagiarizing a story by a freelance reporter.

The paper was made aware earlier this week that a story by reporter Natalie Pierre bore several similarities to an article by freelance writer Tim Linafelt, Tallahassee Democrat editor Bob Gabordi wrote in an editor’s note on the paper’s website:

“After investigating further, we concluded that it was too similar to be pure coincidence, that pieces – at least — of the story were plagiarized. Pierre resigned and no longer will report on behalf of our news organization.”

RELATED: Get real-world recommendations for preventing and handling issues of plagiarism based on the National Plagiarism Summit

Pierre apologized on her personal website, saying she “did not intentionally plagiarize” from Linafelt, while taking “full responsibility for some of freelance writer Tim Linafelt’s words appearing in my story”.

She also tweeted out an apology, which her former boss thanked her for:

Earlier this month, I made a flowchart for editors to help identify and classify different types of plagiarism. If you’re stumped about a case of unethical lifting, check it out.