Add to My Yahoo!

Couric keeps blog post of 'plagiarized' story that got producer fired up on CBS News site
Ron Brynaert and Michael Roston
Published: Wednesday April 11, 2007
Print This  Email This

Although the producer from CBS News anchor Katie Couric's program who appears to have lifted large segments of a Wall Street Journal column for a nightly broadcast has been fired, the network has yet to take down from the CBS News website a blog post containing the original news item, RAW STORY has found.

At 10 AM on Wednesday, April 11, an April 4 post to Couric & Co. titled "Katie Couric's Notebook: Checking Out Libraries" was still accessible on the CBS News website. The byline for the news item is given to Couric. The original story, from a Jeffrey Zaslow column in the Wall Street Journal can be read at this link.

The AP story that announced the "plagiarized" story noted that "The essay was removed from the CBS Web site and an editor’s note was posted saying the item should have credited Jeffrey Zaslow of the Journal."

CBS News has not identified the producer who was fired. The editor's note is accessible at this link. However, there is no recognition of the original authorship of the article on the April 4 item itself.

However, it appears that CBS News has already removed the YouTube clip they had posted of the segment from that night's news broadcast, evidence of which can still be found in Google's cache. Additionally, the video clip linked to the Couric & Co. blog post also does not appear to be accessible.

This screen capture below shows Couric's blog post.

A side-by-side comparison of passages from the Couric blog post and the Zaslow column appears to confirm that large portions of the short Couric news item were copied without attribution from the Wall Street Journal article.

Newsweek reports "Couric apparently faces no repercussions, because she doesn’t actually write 'Katie’s Couric's Notebook'—though many of the entries are presented in the form of first-person essays, as was the controversial piece. Addressing her audience, Couric began: 'Hi everyone, I still remember when I got my first library card.'"

At The Daily Background blog, Arlen Parsa notes that "this type of situation would never have happened in the first place had Couric bothered to write her own brief commentaries instead of reading someone else’s work from a TelePrompTer."

"Ironically, instead of only portraying someone else’s work as hers in the library 'page from my notebook' as she normally does, Couric portrayed someone else’s work which was already being portrayed as someone else’s work: a double case of plagiarism," Parsa writes.

Side-by-side comparison:


COURIC: "For kids today, the library is more removed from their lives. It's a last-ditch place to go if they need to find something out."

WSJ: "The library is more removed from their lives," says Sabra Steinsiek, a retired librarian in Albuquerque, N.M. "It's a last-ditch place to go if they need to find something out."

COURIC: Sure, children still like libraries, but books aren't the draw.

WSJ: Sure, there are still library-loving children, but books aren't necessarily the draw.

COURIC: A recent study found kids use libraries more for DVDs, story hours and computers than for checking out books.

WSJ: Suburban kids, especially, often use libraries more for DVDs, story hours and computers, because their parents buy them books, according to a 2005 study by the Association for Library Service to Children.

COURIC: Many kids skip the library altogether and head for the store. Sales of juvenile books rose 60 percent from 2002 to 2005. It's an encouraging sign that kids value reading...

WSJ: Many kids, of course, skip the library and head right for the store. Sales of hardcover juvenile books rose 60% from 2002 to 2005, to $3.6 billion. Yes, that's an encouraging sign that kids still value books.

COURIC: ...but many tech-savvy kids never experience the joy of using the library's shelves as a place to discover new worlds.

WSJ: But many tech-savvy kids never experience the library as a place for serendipitous discovery.

COURIC: And students are arriving in college unable to navigate libraries with a Dewey decimal system many have never used.

WSJ: Meanwhile, with most teens turning first and foremost to the Internet for schoolwork, students are arriving in college unable to navigate libraries.