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Plagiarism at AOL’s West Hollywood Patch

When local blogger Alissa Walker of GelatoBaby.com discovered a portion of an obituary she had written for John Chase had been plagiarized by AOL-owned website West Hollywood Patch, she contacted the site’s editor. The Informer at LA Weekly has published the email response Walker received from Patch editor Nancy C. Rodriguez:

My calendar editor wrote the obit for me. I’ll have him update the obit … Would you mind sending me some information about John Chase…his significant role to West Hollywood, his character and any contributions to the city? It would be helpful information for our calendar editor.

Wow. The editor actually asked a writer her employee had just stolen from to do more of their work for them. No apology. No promise to correct or remove the stolen material. And apparently, no shame.

The obit was eventually taken down and the author fired. West Hollywood Patch appropriately issued an apology. But in light of new charges of plagiarism over at New Rochelle Patch, it makes us wonder if AOL made good on their promise to hire journalism professionals.

Related: Patch, the WalMart of News? by LA Weekly‘s Tibby Rothman

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