Reader comments · Prominent gay journalist accused of plagiarism · PinkNews

Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.


Prominent gay journalist accused of plagiarism

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. Tosser. Of course it’s plagiarism! Perhaps he should check out the definition on

    1. burningworm 29 Jun 2011, 1:16pm

      Hari is one of the guys (in the public sphere) that we should champion!

      1. I won’t champion someone I don’t always agree with just because he’s gay. I’ve read a lot of his stuff, some is OK, some isn’t, I’m especially against his green postings. I’m all for a better world, but we can act on that without being taxed for it thanks.

        Having said that, I do smell a rat here. That he’s being targetted for his sexuality and his political views moreso than for any ‘plagiarism’. How anyone is supposed to write anything these days without being accused of plagiarism I don’t know. Everything that can be written has already been written before by someone else. Journalists don’t stand a chance.

      2. Hardly! Why should someone be championed just because they’re gay and have made a name for themselves? Shouldn’t one’s actions speak louder than their ‘status’?

  2. It’s not perfect journalism doing what he did – but are any journalists any better. Sounds like one of his enemies is trying to close him down to me.

    1. Its definitely not award winning journalism doing what he did … although I’m not sure the awards were for the articles he has been criticised about …
      There are far more heinous journalistic errors of judgments and crimes.
      It sounds like a spat to me and that he intends to be more measured in how he writes in future. Fair play.

  3. Much ado about nothing. Better to search for absolute truth from politicians and priests – which we don’t…

    1. Spanner1960 30 Jun 2011, 2:00am

      I believe that was a quote from a certain prominent writer, a Mr. W. Shakespeare.
      Oughtn’t you add quote marks and a reference before obviously blatantly ripping the man off?

  4. HelenWilson 29 Jun 2011, 12:28pm

    It just seems such a crass error of judgement not to attribute the quotes. But you have to look at many of the people of the right jumping up and down and having fits over this, saying he should give back the Orwell prize and you just think what a bunch of hypocrites.

  5. Bit dumb of him really. In an age when you can just google a quote or sentence and find its original source online pretty much straightaway.

  6. *facepalm* Oh, Hari…

  7. Of course it is plagiarism.

    Then again seeing as so many Rupert Murdoch employed ‘journalists’ use illegal means (like phone-tapping) to source their stories; I hardly think that what Hari has done is that serious.

    I’ve noticed a slightly different trend on Pink News – whereby US based stories appear on here which appear as almost direct copies of stories that have appeared on US gay news site

    Journalists are required to tell the truth in their stories and not use criminal means to obtain them. However misquoting or copying a story is not reporting false information – it just fails to attribute the story correctly.

  8. burningworm 29 Jun 2011, 1:15pm

    In his own words

    “So I’ve thought carefully about whether I have been wrong here. It’s clearly not plagiarism or churnalism – but was it an error in another way? Yes. I now see it was wrong, and I won’t do it again.

    1. It may not technically be plagiarism but it is still unacceptable behaviour from a professional journalist.

      He has seriously damaged his own reputation because of this.

      And how insulting for him to say that he now recognises that it was wrong, onlyu after being caught.

      A professional journalist should know that what he did was wrong before doing it.

      Johann Hari does not work for News International – he should know better.

      1. burningworm 29 Jun 2011, 1:49pm

        Let hari explain

        My critics have focused on my interview with Gideon Levy as supposedly distorted. So what does Gideon Levy say? These are his words: “I stand behind everything that was published in the interview. It was a totally accurate representation of my thoughts and words.”

        This does not fit any definition of plagiarism. Plagiarism is presenting somebody else’s intellectual work as your own – whereas I have always accurately attributed the ideas of (say) Gideon Levy to Gideon Levy. Nor can it be regarded as churnalism. Churnalism is a journalist taking a press release and mindlessly recycling it. It is not a journalist carefully reading over all a writer’s books and quoting it to best reflect how they think.

    2. burningworm 29 Jun 2011, 1:40pm

      The debate around citation is as old as academia.

      What is it with your moralism?

      A professional journalist as if they should know better;what world do you occupy?

      1. Johann Hari himself admits that what he did was wrong.

        Perhaps plagiarusm is not an accurate description of what he did.

        But at the VERY best, what he did was shoddy, negligent journalism.

        It’s little wonder that journalists have such a low reputation when they cannot accept responsibility for their actions.

        Anyone who has written a thesis at university knows full well that it is always essential to source and reference your material accurately. Or you fail.

        Johann Hari attended university. He knows the rules. Using weasel words to worm his way out of clear negligence and hald truths is a very poor reflection on him as a journalist.

  9. If it isn’t plagiarism, then what other word exists for what he admits to doing. Theft? Such a shame. He has written a brilliantly observant and perceptive article in the latest Attitude about why gays are more depressive than straights, and then undoes his good efforts by stealing other peoples’ work. He is positively lynched on today’s Guardian web site, whose readers you would imagine would be rushing to his defense. It is hard to see how his reputation will recover from this. Silly boy.

  10. I feel no sympathy for him. This is not isolated – he is a shoddy journalist who weakens the case for liberalism and the left by poorly researched and argued articles. I’m glad this has finally gained some exposure. It’s just rather a shame that some journalists who should know better are defending him, while many right-wingers are jumping on the bandwagon to hijack legitimate criticisms of him.

    1. Well he right-wingers who work for News International are in no position to throw allegations seeing as so any of them engage in criminal activity (phone-tapping) to source their stories.

      1. Alf N. Spit 29 Jun 2011, 11:49pm

        NOTW should have been closed down for it’s criminal activities.

  11. He didn’t seem very responsible when it came to replying to email correspondence. Perhaps others had better luck with him.

  12. OK, I’d agree that it was crass and unprofessional to quotemine other sources without siting the originators, but in many other respects he’s still one of the better journalists out there and talks a lot of sense.
    Plus he fights our corner well when others won’t put their heads above the parapet.
    I’m prepared to give him a second chance so long as he doesn’t go back to his old corner-cutting plagurist ways.

    1. Any journalist worth their salt should be prepared to engage with their readers.

      1. PumpkinPie 30 Jun 2011, 3:24pm

        Do you have any idea of the amount of correspondence he’s been getting due to this? Was your email of special significance, or was it something he’s probably been 100 times in the last day alone?

        1. I wrote to Johann well before this happened and he didn’t reply despite reminders. The subject of my messages was homophobic bullying, something I thought he felt passionately about.

          1. PumpkinPie 30 Jun 2011, 8:45pm

            Oh, forget my post, then. I thought you meant recently, and I remembered reading that this event had resulted in a deluge of emails.

  13. Forgive me for being stupid, but why do people, and in particular fellow journalists, seem to regard plagiarism as so much worse than printing lies? Recent stories regarding Louis Walsh have, in effect, been repeating lies to the entire readership of each news outlet. Was any evidence found to support the truth of the allegation before it was published?

    1. Good point.

    2. Spanner1960 30 Jun 2011, 2:02am

      Who care’s? It sells copy. If it turns out to be untrue they can print a retraction at the bottom of page 24 under the classifieds.

    3. PumpkinPie 30 Jun 2011, 3:30pm

      I agree. Even with this, Hari is better than the majority of journalists out there who set out from the start to lie and misrepresent. Plagiarism is bad, but it’s small beans compared to what some of his contemporaries get up to.
      Personally, I’d like to hear from the people he’s interviewed. I want to see if any of them had any issues with him “glamming up” their words. Won’t excuse the plagiarism, but it if they agree with how he represented them, then at least his claim of trying to accurately represent their views will be true.

  14. Melanie Phillips 30 Jun 2011, 9:53am

    Yes, the man is indeed the devil incarnate. I’d rather read that nice Melanie Phillips lady any day for her honesty and integrity.

  15. If there’s even a blip of truth in his journalism the he’s still doing a better job than some “Journalists” –

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.