Pasadena Weekly Pulls Story From Web Site Over Possible Copying

may 5, 2006  08:19 am
A guest column in the paper's May 4 issue apparently contained phrases from a sermon that has been widely circulated on the Internet, according to the L.A. Times. The column was written by Pasadena schools superintendent Percy Clark, Jr., who has been a frequent target of the alt-weekly's criticism. PW pulled the column from its Web site after questions were raised about several passages that were similar to those found in the 1991 sermon. In a response posted on the paper's Web site, PW Editor Kevin Uhrich says, "in hindsight, I suppose we should have checked every word, but we do not do that with the other leaders in their fields, who are supposed to write with the authority that their positions afford them." Reviewing the similarities between Clark's column and the sermon, Uhrich asks, "Is Clark guilty of plagiarism, or did he merely use material that he did not properly attribute?" Uhrich also criticizes the local activist who publicized the story, who, he says, "may have done something similarly unethical, at least from a journalism perspective," by failing to reveal his source.