Home > Ethics > Paper tries to change name after plaigiarism scandal

Paper tries to change name after plaigiarism scandal

June 11, 2012

Remember the Anchor Weekly, the Alberta community newspaper whose editor, Steve Jeffrey, was found to have filled his columns with the cribbed stylings of various American columnists?

Well, Jeffrey is gone (at least Steve Jeffrey, a Nick Jeffrey is listed on the company’s website) and now the paper’s new publisher is trying to make everyone forget what happened.

I give you, thus, the following email from Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association executive director Dennis Murrell:

A Tale of Two Anchors

Apparently the media coverage of plagiarism involving the Chestermere Anchor Weekly has had a negative impact on the “Weekly Anchor” in Edson, Alberta.

For this reason, publisher Dana McArthur has asked that we identify the newspaper as the Chestermere Anchor Weekly, as opposed to the “Anchor Weekly”.

Please pass this along to reporters/editors who may be considering the publication of a story in next week’s newspaper.

Thank you.

Dennis Merrell.

This is funny for a number of reasons, not least of which is the fact that the masthead of the paper’s own website bears the name of “The Anchor Weekly.”

In related news, Jeffrey has apologized for his plagiarism AND agreed to pay for the words he stole. From Poynter:

Sheila Moss, a humor writer in Nashville, says in an email that she and Jeffrey “negotiated a financial settlement with the encouragement of the Alberta Press Council, with whom I had filed a complaint. I feel that the amount was fair and I’m satisfied with the resolution.”

ANWA has also suspended the paper for a year for Jeffrey’s misdeeds.

Finally, on May 3, the Anchor Weekly published an apology by Jeffrey. Here’s what he wrote:

So for those of you who have not hard, many of the words I used in the Lighthouse column over the past year were not mine.

I need to credit the authors: George Waters, Erik Deckers, Sheila Moss, Russell Wangersky, Peter Chianca, Joe Lavin, Man Martin, John Brock, Jon Martin, Jason Love, Laura B. Randolph, Daron Williams, and Bill Westcott from whom I used substantial pieces of their work under my own name.

The articles contained large portions of their work without credit, and I need to apologize.

I found myself getting more and more involved in things. Life got busier and busier I found myself in more and more last minute scrambles. I exercised poor judgement by pulling things out of my inbox to fill a page in the paper.

So you have seen the last of Sittin’ in the Lighthouse, but there is lots in the Anchor to keep you informed and entertained. [Sic, all].

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