Student Editor’s Plagiarism Accusations Lead to Reporter Suspension

Score one for University Press managing editor Emily Bloch.

UniversityPressLogoThings can escalate very quickly when the P-word is thrown down. What’s interesting in this case is that it was only after Florida Atlantic University student newspaper managing editor Emily Bloch published her findings that the nearby Boca Raton Tribune finally took action. The Tribune, a community newspaper published bi-weekly during the summer and weekly the rest of the year, had failed to respond to contact Monday from a representative for Bloch’s newspaper, the University Press, and a call from Bloch herself Thursday.

In her article, the FAU editor accused Tribune contributor Fred Hamilton of plagiarizing portions of a story she wrote several weeks ago. After some additional digging, she found two other apparent instances of plagiarism involving The Daily Beast and the South Florida Sun Sentinel. From a related item by Rise Miami News:

Boca Raton Tribune publisher Douglas Heizer told Rise Miami News that the writer would not be allowed to contribute to the paper moving forward and that an internal investigation has been launched. Depending on the findings of that investigation, all of Hamilton’s published stories could be taken down from the newspaper’s website…

“She brought up very good points,” Heizer said. “We want to teach young people good journalism, and this is not the right way.”

Bloch’s May 8 article involved the disclosure by Boca Raton PD of the alleged gang rape of an FAU female student in April. The online side of Hamilton’s coverage has been removed.