In a memo to staff published on the Globe and Mail website, editor John Stackhouse says he has taken “appropriate action” in response to concerns about a July 2009 column written by columnist Margaret Wente.
“As in all disciplinary cases at The Globe, the details remain a private matter between employer and employee,” he writes. “I will continue to defend her right to free expression.”
Stackhouse also noted that effectively immediately Public Editor Sylvia Stead, who first investigated the complaints, will report to the paper’s publisher.
“The journalism in this instance did not meet the standards of The Globe and Mail, in terms of sourcing, use of quotation marks and reasonable credit for the work of others. Even in the spirit of column writing, which allows for some latitude in attribution and expression, this work was not in accordance with our code of conduct, and is unacceptable.”
Wente addresses the controversy in a column to be published in Tuesday’s paper. “I’m far from perfect,” she writes. “I make mistakes. But I’m not a serial plagiarist. What I often am is a target for people who don’t like what I write.”
Wente says journalists know readers are watching. “If you appropriate other people’s work, you’re going to get nailed. Even so, sometimes we slip up. That isn’t an excuse. It’s just the way it is.”
Click here to read Globe media reporter Steve Ladurantaye on the story.