Former NYT Executive Editor Allegedly Plagiarized Several Portions Of New Book

Jill Abramson Faces Accusations of Plagiarism in New Book ‘Merchants of Truth’

Jill Abramson Faces Accusations of Plagiarism in New Book ‘Merchants of Truth’

A Vice News correspondent has accused former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson of plagiarism in her new book, "Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts".

The citations are not referenced in the passages where the sourced material was used, and instead are listed with page numbers and organised by chapter.

"In several of these cases, the language is too close for comfort, and should have been specifically cited in the footnotes correctly", Abramson told NPR. The truth promised in Merchants of Truth was often not true.

But later that night, she wrote on Twitter that she would be reviewing the "passages in question".

She added, "In writing Merchants of Truth, I tried above all to accurately and properly give attribution to the many hundreds of sources that were part of my research".

Abramson hasn't handled the recent accusations with much coherence, at first denying them entirely and also lashing out at VICE journalists for being upset about her depictions of the outlet and its employees.

In her statement Thursday, Abramson, who'll be at Harvard Book Store Feb. 19, said she stands by the substance of her book, which looks at the various paths taken by legacy media organizations The New York Times and The Washington Post and digital newcomers Vice News and BuzzFeed. "All I can tell you is I certainly didn't plagiarize in my book and there's 70 pages of footnotes showing where I got the information".

The tweets came shortly after Abramson defended herself in an interview with Fox News' Martha MacCallum just an hour after the accusations came to light.

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Abramson responded to the allegations again late Wednesday night, writing "I take seriously the issues raised and will review the passages in question".

Her publisher, Simon & Schuster, also issued a statement pledging to "work with the author in making those revisions" if changes are deemed necessary.

Moynihan also accused Abramson of plagiarizing both a masters thesis, written by Ryan Bigge and a 2013 article in The New Yorker, titled "The Bad-Boy Brand". Not really. It was a factual description, not something creative that I agonized over for weeks. Would it have been that hard to say "as mentioned in CJR"?

When the book hit shelves, Moynihan uncovered multiple instances of what he describes as plagiarism.

In the lead-up to its February 5 publication, the book also weathered controversies related to alleged misquoting and erroneous information, particularly in its chapters about Vice News. MacCallum asked Abramson if it was a "footnote issue", but Abramson replied, "No". All of the ideas in the book are original, all the opinions are mine.

Abramson assumed the role of executive editor of the Times in September 2011 after starting at the paper in 1997.

Moynihan's tweets went viral Wednesday and brought a lot of attention to Abramson's book, which was mired in controversy even before it was published this month.

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