SBD/Issue 165/Sports Media

Write Or Wrong? Herald Columnist’s Piece To Be Investigated

The Calgary Herald is looking into the “possibility that sports columnist Bruce Dowbiggin plagiarized” a N.Y. Times article, according to William Houston of the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL. But Dowbiggin said that a computer problem at the Herald Sunday “caused the Times information to appear in his column without attribution.” Dowbiggin said, “Because of the meltdown, it appears an earlier version of the column was printed, not the last one that I sent in.” Dowbiggin added that the paper “accepted his explanation,” but Calgary Herald Sports Editor Dale Oviatt said that “nothing has been resolved.” Oviatt: “We’re going to do our due diligence and look into it.” Houston notes Dowbiggin’s column in question was about athletes’ jersey numbers. The N.Y. Times published a similar piece, by Lee Jenkins, three days earlier. Two consecutive sentences from Jenkins’ article about Giants P Jeff Feagles selling jersey No. 10 to QB Eli Manning for a week vacation in Florida appeared in Dowbiggin’s story “almost word for word.” Dowbiggin is not a Calgary Herald staffer, but a “freelancer who regularly contributes” to the paper (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/19).

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