Times Publishes Plagiarized Letter

What student journalist doesn’t dream of one day getting to write for The New York Times? So maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise when a student plagiarizer aspires to follow that same path.

Yesterday, The New York Times ran an editor’s note in which it admitted that portions of a letter to the editor it had published in August, about Japan’s role in sex slavery in World War II, had been plagiarized. According to The Times, the letter, submitted by Zachary Townsend, a Brown University student and a columnist at the Brown Daily Herald, contained material taken from a 2006 Foreign Affairs article.

The Times appears to have learned about the plagiarism after the Daily Herald ran an editor’s note of its own on Monday, in which it admitted that six of Mr. Townsend’s columns, published over the last two years, also contained plagiarized material.

We’ve asked The Times about their procedures for vettting letters to the editor, and will update with their reponse.