There’s been another instance of plagiarism at an online sports outlet. Following recent cases with FanSided (at their New Orleans sports site and their Virginia Tech site) and SB Nation (at their Denver Broncos site), we now have one at The Hockey Writers, where writer Michael Klipstein appears to have exactly copied the format and the thoughts in a Buffalo News column by Mike Harrington. Klipstein’s piece has since been taken down, but an archived version can be found here. After Harrington complained on Twitter Wednesday, THW managing editor Dean Plunkett tweeted an apology and stated that Klipstein had been let go:
— 🏒 Dean Plunkett 🚨 (@DeanPlunkettTHW) April 19, 2017
Here’s a side-by-side look at both pieces’ openings:
Yeah, that’s pretty obvious, and the problems continue from there, with Klipstein’s second, third and fourth points all only slightly modified versions of the ones Harrington made (and in the same order, to boot).
Interestingly enough, THW appears to have pulled down all of Klipstein’s pieces, as his author page now has no linked posts, and Google results for pieces by him now produce errors. That may suggest further plagiarism was found, or just that the site decided to yank all of his pieces in case there were other issues. In any case, this is yet another instance of plagiarism at an online sports outlet, and that’s becoming a far-too-common trend.
Update: Awful Announcing has learned there was in fact further plagiarism by Klipstein. This cached article pulls the same pattern of taking another piece (in this case, one by Tristan Fitzpatrick at FanSided’s Tip of The Tower), repeating the entire format and only changing a few words. For example, “Jack Eichel has the hopes of the entire team pinned on him. In his rookie year, he missed just one game, getting 24 goals and 32 assists for 56 points and finishing fourth in Calder voting for Rookie of the Year” to “Eichel had the hopes of the entire team pinned on him. In his rookie year, he missed just one game, getting 24 goals and 32 assists for 56 points and finishing fourth in Calder Trophy voting.” This one was published March 30 and copied from a March 21 piece, and it apparently wasn’t caught until the Buffalo News incident came to light. And the third piece Klipstein published also appears to have been plagiarized.