We have removed the name of the author of the column from the post and subsequent comments due to concerns of how the issue may affect the author’s employment prospects. We never had any intention of harming the student by publishing the editor’s note and we apologize for any undue hurt the note may have caused.
—The Senior Editorial Board
Wednesday evening I was alerted to a comment on a column in the opinion section of The Daily Californian, alleging that the article was “almost word-for-word” from a post on another website.
The columnist was hired Sept. 7 as the Wednesday columnist for the opinion section at the Daily Cal. This was the writer’s first piece for the newspaper.
The piece “But you looked different on Facebook …” had already been published on the blog Adios Barbie almost a year ago, and the columnist submitted it, almost verbatim, as one of their writing samples in their application to the Daily Cal.
The Daily Cal applications website instructs opinion department applicants to submit “two original, unpublished columns,” and it is custom for the opinion page editors to publish at least one of the original clips submitted by hired columnists.
We trusted that the columnist had followed the application instructions and that the work produced was original. The writer did not realize that submitting a piece that they had published elsewhere meant that they were submitting unoriginal work. We are at fault for not asking enough questions and properly screening previous work while considering the applicant.
In this case, the author presented the column as original work for the Daily Cal when, in fact, the work was lifted from a previous post that they had written for another organization. Regardless of the fact that they were the author of both renditions, the reproduction of content without disclosing the existence of the original piece is something the Daily Cal considers unethical.
All content produced for the Daily Cal by our writers is owned by the Daily Cal, and it is against our policy to publish unoriginal content. We do not tolerate plagiarism or self-plagiarism in any form and hold ourselves to the highest standards of journalistic integrity.
The column has since been removed, and the columnist will no longer write for the Daily Cal.
In addition to the Daily Cal’s processes for name-checking and fact-checking during editing, all editorial departments will now scan articles for plagiarism to ensure that all of the our content is original.
If you have any questions or concerns please email me at [email protected]
Stephanie Baer is the editor in chief and president.