A Star Tribune editorial page writer who wrote two pieces containing similarities to two commentaries in The New Yorker magazine will return to work after a newspaper review did not find further problems in his work.
Steve Berg, who was not writing for the paper during the review, will return to writing Jan. 2, editorial page editor Susan Albright wrote in early editions of Sunday’s newspaper.
The review of a year’s worth of Berg’s work found only the two “improper and unfortunate” instances of “nonattribution,” Albright wrote.
“At the same time, we discerned no intent to deceive on the part of Berg, and his performance over 30 years has otherwise been exemplary.”
The AP credits our reporting on the issue.
This strikes me as a reasonably happy resolution. My biggest criticism of the Strib’s editorials is that they are far-left and often ill-informed. Issues of copying, plagiarism and/or attribution are secondary at most, I think.
So far, I don’t see Albright’s article on the Strib’s site.
PAUL adds: John, this is your beat (and Scott’s) so I’ll defer to you. But shouldn’t two improper instances of non-attribution in a year be unacceptable? And how would one “discern” an “intent to deceive” in a case like this? If clearly improper, doesn’t the failure to attribute by itself show the intent to deceive?
JOHN responds: I guess it’s up to the Strib to set standards for their editorial board. To the extent that this is a personnel matter, it’s really their call. I think individual readers will have to draw their own conclusions as to what this entire episode says about the quality of the Strib’s editorial output.