Friday, September 4, 2009

An Aggregate Apology from The Hartford Courant

Courant building on State Street (about 1900)Image via Wikipedia

Tribune Co.-owned The Hartford Courant has published a letter of apology from CEO, President and Publisher Richard J. Graziano for engaging in news aggregating practices that the Courant conceded amounted to plagiarism.

"We have determined that over the last several weeks the Courant plagiarized the work of some of our competitors," Graziano wrote. "This was not our intent, but it is in fact what happened. We are taking corrective action to prevent it from happening again. We have also disciplined the individuals involved." The letter did not detail what the remedial measures are.

The Courant aggregated news from across Connecticut, but failed to attribute the origin of some of the content that it posted, prompting a letter of complaint of misappropriation from Managing Editor Chris Powell of the Manchester Journal Inquirer. Michael Miner, who writes The Blog for, alleges that the Courant posted stories from other Connecticut newspapers on its Web site, some of which found their way into the print edition of the Courant under the byline of a Courant reporter. In a press release, The Society of Professional Journalists minced no words in characterizing the Courant's conduct as "theft."

The Courant  is Connecticut's largest daily newspaper. The paper has been publishing since 1764.
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