An apology to our readers and fellow communication professionals

Yesterday afternoon, it was brought to CMU Insider’s attention that at least two tweets from our official Twitter coverage of the CMU Board of Trustees meeting had been plagiarized from Central Michigan Life.

We promptly issued a statement to our readers informing them of this breach of ethics. Insider expects the highest ethical standards of all of its journalists. This behavior is utterly unacceptable for ourselves and journalists everywhere.

Soon after this note was published, we learned at least eight live-tweets from University Communications had been plagiarized as well. Furthermore, we learned there were instances of live-tweeting plagiarism from a previous Board of Trustees meeting.

We immediately relieved the individual responsible for these infractions from duties with Insider and all live-tweets from the Board of Trustees meetings were deleted from our account.

In the time since, Insider’s editors searched each article from the individual in question for further ethical breaches.

We found zero instances of plagiarism. However, in each of seven of our What You Should Know features and an Academic Senate Meeting Highlight, we found at least one instance where quotes were not cited to our standards.

In each of these occurrences, the sources were both cited and quoted at some point in the article. However, it is our opinion the origin of certain quotes was not made clear enough to our readers at the time of publishing. These stories have now been fixed and all quotes have been properly attributed.

These mistakes are a failure of not only the stories’ original author, but our editors for their failure to discover them before publishing.

For that, we are deeply sorry for all who were transgressed.

We would also like to thank our fellow communication professionals who were supportive and understanding of this unfortunate circumstance.

As forces of transparency, it is the duty of journalists to provide information to the world so each individual is capable of making better decisions. It is also our duty to ensure the origin of this information is properly attributed and not stolen from another.

We pledge to ensure all our stories are scrutinized better in the future.

To help fulfill this promise, Insider’s staff will be participating in a training session on ethics, as well as a training session on live-tweeting.

We take all that has happened extremely seriously. We are doing everything possible to ensure it will never happen again.




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