Zachery Kouwe has resigned. The New York Times DealBook reporter was being investigated by the Times for several instances of “accidental plagiarism,” in which he used language and facts reported in the Wall Street Journal and other sources without attribution.
The Observer spoke with Kouwe and reported that he resigned earlier this afternoon.
“I was as surprised as anyone that this was occurring,” said Mr. Kouwe, referring to the revelation that he had plagiarized. “I write essentially 7,000 words every week for the blog and for the paper and all that stuff. As soon as I saw, I guess, like six examples, I said to myself, ‘Man what an idiot. What I was thinking?'”
Mr. Kouwe says he has never fabricated a story, nor has he knowingly plagiarized. “Basically, there was a minor news story and I thought we needed to have a presence for it on the blog,” he said, referring to DealBook. “In the essence of speed, I’ll look at various wire services and throw it into our back-end publishing system, which is WordPress, and then I’ll go and report it out and make sure all the facts are correct. It’s not like an investigative piece. It’s usually something that comes off a press release, an earnings report, it’s court documents.”
Kouwe joined the Times from the New York Post in November 2008. Daily Beast reporter Gerald Posner also recently resigned after an investigation exposed his “accidental plagiarism.”
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