Sun, 08/20/2017 - 15:28

Posted by Belinda Alzner on September 26, 2012

It wasn’t just Margaret Wente’s apparent failure to properly attribute a 2009 column that captivated journalists over the last week, but also The Globe and Mail’s response and the role that the blogosphere and social media played. Eric Mark Do and Belinda Alzner compiled the coverage of the story as it has progressed, the reaction it garnered online and the commentary that's been provided by journalists.

This story was last updated Oct. 3, 2012.


Thanks, j-source. This is an outstanding aggregation of reporting and commentary about a subject that has been difficult to follow in its full scope because there are so many threads. Lots of stuff here I hadn't seen and m might never have found on my own. An excellent service to the j-community!



When was J-Source first aware of allegations concerning Margaret Wente's plagiarism, and what did it do about them?

It seems to me that the context for this goes back further. There is at least one article on this site that goes back a year, that wonders if Wente was plagiarizing. What is missing from this timeline is that Wainio's first post about Wente was in May of 2011. And after that, there were many more posts and, I believe, letters to the Globe and Mail.

I think another important piece of the landscape right now, is that no one from the Globe and Mail has actually said that Wente has plagiarized on multiple occasions. They have admitted plagiarism on one occasion; the Dan Gardner case. But even Steve Ladurantaye, who actually reported on this issue for the Globe and Mail on Tuesday, September 25th, would only concede one instance of plagiarism and would only refer to the possibility of a pattern as an allegation.

Today, Thursday the 27th, Terence Corcoran, an editor for the Financial Post wrote that Wente's freedoms as a journalist were infringed upon by a definition of plagiarism invented by the blogosphere, adding that "Ms. Wente, I suspect, now knows something of what it felt like during the Cultural Revolution in China, when ideological enforcers roamed the country to impose their views and expose running-dogs, remove people from their jobs and purge them from the system."

Not a good day for Canadian Journalism.

Congratulations on this excellent summary. I am now following the story almost in the way of pedagogical research into the reactions of the media and publics about plagiarism. I note that a lot of teachers and academics appear to be doing the same. Clearly, many of us realize that the substance of a huge part of our pedagogy is being debated for the first time in ages, in the media. In my science courses, students look at how research is being dealt with in the media and this story is going to provide a lot of material for my courses in the future. 

J-Source and ProjetJ are publications of the Canadian Journalism Project, a venture among post-secondary journalism schools and programs across Canada, led by Ryerson University, Université Laval and Carleton University and supported by a group of donors.