Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Post-Dispatch Columnist Apologizes for Lifting Info

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Post-Dispatch Columnist Apologizes for Lifting Info

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS Post-Dispatch columnist Gregory Freeman used his June 11 column to apologize to readers for what he said was the inadvertent lifting of several sentences from an opinion piece by Boston Globe columnist Derrick Z. Jackson.

Freeman's thrice-weekly column, "Urban View" was suspended by the Post-Dispatch for a month. It is scheduled to resume July 11.

"I made a bad mistake," Freeman wrote. "The information may have seemed innocuous, but the words should have been my own. They were not.

"This newspaper - and you, the reader - expect and deserve the highest standards. I fell short of those standards. You have every reason to question my credibility.

"I promise you that I realize the seriousness of what I did and it will not happen again," Freeman wrote in "Urban View."

The column in question ran June 8 and concerned Lani Guinier, the woman whose nomination to head civil rights enforcement for the justice Department was withdrawn by President Bill Clinton.

Freeman explained that, in researching the column, he had scanned numerous news services available through newsroom terminals.

Freeman said he incorporated "three background sentences from something I had read in the computer."

The three sentences were virtually identical to those written in Jackson's column about Guinier in the Boston Globe.

In addition, Freeman's column made the point that two of Guinier's critics - U.S. Sens. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Joe Biden of Delaware - come from very sparsely populated states and owe their Senate seats to a quota system that gives each state two senators, regardless of population. …

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