Newspaper Apologizes to LA Times for Op Ed Plagiarism

The Contra Costa Times has been forced to make an embarrassing admission. After publishing a Monday April 2 commentary about failed attempts by the California court system to implement an expensive computerized system, the newspaper was alerted to some information that has led to “appropriate personnel action.”

Under the headline “Editorial Breached Public Trust,” Contra Costa Times editorial page editor Dan Hatfield explains this week’s chain of events:

After publication of the editorial, it was brought to our attention by an editor at the Los Angeles Times that our editorial had taken a nearly identical approach to one that his newspaper had published several days before ours. In addition, there were several paragraphs in this paper’s editorial that were virtually identical to those in the Los Angeles Times.

While each newspaper’s editorial opinion staff came to the same viewpoint on the issue separately, the editorial that was published in our newspapers was clearly inappropriate and profoundly unprofessional. The wording is simply too similar to be a coincidence… I want to offer a sincere apology to the Los Angeles Times for our breach of journalism ethics and protocol.

Founded in 1947 and based in Walnut Creek, the Contra Costa Times is currently owned by Media News Group. The earlier LA Times Opinion piece can be viewed here.