May 27, 2024

Media Decoder Blog: Time and CNN Reinstate Journalist After Review

Time magazine and CNN are reinstating the commentator Fareed Zakaria after a review of his work in light of his admission that he plagiarized parts of a New Yorker article in a recent column for Time.

“We have completed a thorough review of each of Fareed Zakaria’s columns for Time, and we are entirely satisfied that the language in question in his recent column was an unintentional error and an isolated incident for which he has apologized,” a Time spokeswoman said in a statement on Thursday. “We look forward to having Fareed’s thoughtful and important voice back in the magazine with his next column in the issue that comes out on Sept. 7.”

The magazine suspended Mr. Zakaria, 48, on Friday after he apologized for copying sections of his column on gun control — in the Aug. 20 issue — from an article written by the historian Jill Lepore of Harvard in The New Yorker.

After the news, CNN also suspended him as host of the weekly program “Fareed Zakaria GPS” and said that a shorter blog post that he had written for CNN’s Web site had similarly unattributed excerpts. CNN and Time magazine are both part of Time Warner.

The network said in a statement on Thursday that it, too, had completed an internal review of Mr. Zakaria’s work. “We found nothing that merited continuing the suspension,” the statement reads, adding, “Zakaria has apologized for a journalistic lapse. CNN and Zakaria will work together to strengthen further the procedures for his show and blog.” His program will return on Aug. 26.

The Washington Post later announced that it would conduct a review of his columns. But a Post spokeswoman said she expected him to continue his column in September.

The similarities in the texts were spotted by the conservative Web site NewsBusters, and quickly spread across the Internet after appearing on the media blog

After the similarities were found, Mr. Zakaria issued a statement saying: “Media reporters have pointed out that paragraphs in my Time column this week bear close similarities to paragraphs in Jill Lepore’s essay in the April 23 issue of The New Yorker. They are right. I made a terrible mistake. It is a serious lapse and one that is entirely my fault. I apologize unreservedly to her, to my editors at Time, and to my readers.”

Earlier this year, Mr. Zakaria was criticized for giving a commencement speech at Harvard that was very similar to one he had given earlier at Duke. Mr. Zakaria is known for managing a demanding schedule: he works for CNN, writes columns for Time and The Post, and also writes books.

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