OLD Media Moves

Kouwe quits, wonders what happened

February 16, 2010

John Koblin of the New York Observer had an exclusive interview with former New York Times business reporter Zachary Kouwe, who resigned Tuesday afternoon amid allegations of plagiarizing articles from The Wall Street Journal, Reuters and other business media outlets.

Koblin writes, “‘I was as surprised as anyone that this was occurring,’ he said, referring to the revelation that he had plagiarized. ‘I write essentially 7,000 words every week for the blog and for the paper and all that stuff. As soon as I saw, I guess, like six examples, I said to myself, ‘Man what an idiot. What I was thinking?”

“Mr. Kouwe says he has never fabricated a story, nor has he knowingly plagiarized. ‘Basically, there was a minor news story and I thought we needed to have a presence for it on the blog,’ he said, referring to DealBook. ‘In the essence of speed, I’ll look at various wire services and throw it into our back-end publishing system, which is WordPress, and then I’ll go and report it out and make sure all the facts are correct. It’s not like an investigative piece. It’s usually something that comes off a press release, an earnings report, it’s court documents.’

“‘I’ll go back and rewrite everything,’ he continued. ‘I was stupid and careless and fucked up and thought it was my own stuff, or it somehow slipped in there. I think that’s what probably happened.'”

Read more here.

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