CMU editor fired for plagiarism

Colorado Mesa University’s student newspaper, The Criterion, announced online Tuesday that it has fired its online editor after it was determined that she committed plagiarism.

Newspaper employees determined the writer plagiarized content in 16 opinion pieces with information derived from at least 22 sources, including the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine, among other publications, The Criterion reported.

The Criterion didn’t identify its former online editor in their story and has deleted her corresponding online posts from its website. The Daily Sentinel confirmed that the former Criterion writer is Whitney Kidd.

The newspaper said a Criterion editor discovered on Monday that stories had been plagiarized and that it is continuing to investigate whether any other content was lifted from other sources.

Criterion advisor Eric Sandstrom said the plagiarized material was inserted into the writer’s columns among her original work. He said the newspaper staff never questioned publishing a story about the incident but decided not to name the former writer.

“We just felt like college is a time to make a mistake, not have to pay for it for the rest of your life,” Sandstrom said.

Professors of mass communication classes at CMU tell students about avoiding plagiarism. However other students have been caught plagiarizing and other incidents have occurred at the student-run newspaper, yet, “not at this magnitude,” he said.

Sandstrom said their former online editor is a good writer on her own accord and didn’t need to lift others’ work.

“There’s just shock at the school over this ­— disappointment and shock,” Sandstrom said. “No one took any joy in discovering this or seeing her dismissed from the staff. It’s just one of those things that other students see what happens when someone steals another person’s work.”


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