Trinity News Apologise Over Plagiarism of UCD Student Newspapers

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Trinity News has made an apology to both the College Tribune and the University Observer over instances of plagiarism.

The Trinity paper was accused of plagiarising several news stories relating to UCD published by the two Belfield papers. The articles in question have now been removed from the Trinity News online site.

On Friday night (28th January) the Trinity student paper ran an online story regarding a motion put before the UCD Students’ Union Council to run a campus referendum on student’s position on the Cassells report.

The article however was heavily copied from a University Observer article “UCDSU consider referendum on fee stance” that ran on Monday the 23rd of January.

It is believed a committee member of Trinity Publications, the body that funds Trinity News contacted the student paper over the issue following accusations of plagiarism, and the committee member of Trinity Publications requested TN amend the article to give credit to the University Observer.

 

TN Article ScreenshotThe TN piece was written by the paper’s comment editor Michael Foley. Details of the Observer’s article and statements from UCD Students’ Union President Conor Viscardi were lifted without any credit given to the UCD newspaper.

 

SU President Viscardi confirmed to the Tribune that he was not contacted by any reporters from Trinity News on the issue.

The Trinity News piece stated that a motion to run a referendum on the Students’ Union position on students’ fees would be considered “in the coming weeks”, as reported by the Observer. However, after the Observer’s article was published the motion passed through the SU Council early last week.

Following accusations of plagiarism on social media the Trinity News article was amended to state at the end of the piece that “this article was edited to cite the University Observer as a source – 9.57pm, Friday 27th January”. Then the article was removed from the paper’s website.
Note this article..

Image: Amended note to the Trinity News story, prior to the story being taken down.  

The editor of Trinity News Oisin Vince Coulter in a statement said that “it’s an unfortunate situation for all parties involved”. Speaking to the Tribune he outlined that “apologies have been offered to the University Observer” over the article on the SU motion of a referendum.

“We aim for the highest standards at all times, but we are a volunteer organisation of student writers, and there are occasional mistakes” Vince Coulter said.

The paper also apologised for plagiarising work from the College Tribune last year. In late October Trinity News ran an online story “UCD forced to pay additional €2.8m for Confucius Centre after Irish government rejects plea for funding”.
 

This was several days after the Tribune broke the story on the Confucius Centre cost overrun on the 25th of October. The Trinity New’s online article lifted quotes and details of documentation obtained by the Tribune under the Freedom of Information act. The story, which mirrors the outline of the Tribune’s investigative piece, did not credit the UCD paper as its main source. This article has also since been removed from the Trinity News website.

The current Trinity News editor Oisin Vince Coulter has made a private apology over the plagiarised stories to both the editor of the College Tribune and the University Observer.

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Jack Power   |   Editor

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