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Former OC Register Writer Caught in Plagiarism Scandal*

Politico staffer Kendra Marr was forced to resign after seven instances of plagiarism were discovered in her recent work. Marr was outed after a New York Times writer alerted Politico editor-in-chief John Harris to similarities between his/her recent transportation story and Marr’s Politico followup. Harris launched an investigation an subsequently discovered six other instances of reporting and phrasing that was lifted from other stories without attribution. There were no manufactured quotes or invented scenes in Marr’s work, but the offenses were serious enough to force her resignation.

Marr is a California native who previously wrote and worked as a copy editor an intern for the Orange County Register and wrote for the San Jose Mercury News.

Betsy Rothstein at our sister site FishbowlDC got a hold of the Politico editorial honchos’ memo to staff, after the jump.

“We have some difficult news to share. Kendra Marr, who has been a valued colleague and friend during her time here, has offered her resignation, and her editors have accepted…

“The background on this episode, which came to light late last night and today, is shared with readers in an editors’ note that we have included below. There were instances of language and ideas published in at least seven of her POLITICO stories that borrowed without attribution from work that had been published previously in other publications. As we say in the editors’ note, we have found no cases of invention of scenes and quotes. Even so, these examples represented a lapse of our standards that we could not defend or tolerate. It is a reminder to all of us to take care in our work, to err on the side of attribution and transparency, and to never forget that our trust with readers is something that has to be preserved and built upon every day, in every story. We will be following up on these lessons in newsroom conversations in coming days.”

*This story originally called Marr a former OC Register staffer. She was apparently just an intern at the Register.

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