Posts Tagged ‘Brian Whelan’

Steven King of APCO Worldwide goes into hiding after plagiarism disclosed

October 9, 2011

After Steven King’s blatant – and rather incompetent – plagiarism in his articles for the Irish Examiner was disclosed by Brian Whelan all his previous articles for the Examiner are now being scrutinised. The editor of the Irish Examiner, Tim Vaughn,  has acted rather quickly and decisively which is certainly commendable (especially compared to the immediate and knee-jerk denials and defensive statements which are usually the case).

King is employed by APCO Worldwide and is based in Delhi but has now gone into hiding and is not responding to the Irish Examiner’s attempts to contact him. APCO Worldwide is a communications and public affairs consulting firm serving the corporate world and government bodies. No doubt they are expert at tailoring their copy to suit the needs of their clients. It begs the question as to what extent plagiarism and recycling other people’s material for their reports to their clients is part of their normal behaviour. Of course expectations of ethical standards at a public relations firm are not very high since their brief is to make their clients look good under all circumstances. Perhaps it is a case of the methods used routinely in public relations spilling over into King’s article for the Irish Examiner.

The Irish Independent reports:

The ‘Irish Examiner’ said it had been trying to contact Mr King, who is based in India, by email, phone and text message since Wednesday evening, but had not received a reply. “Obviously, I would much prefer if I had a response from him by now,” editor Tim Vaughan said. “This morning, therefore, I suspended publication of any future columns and in the meantime I still await a response.”

Mr King is based in New Delhi, where he works for public affairs and strategic communications firm APCO Worldwide. His company profile states that he is the former chief political adviser to Northern Ireland’s ex-First Minister David Trimble, and was also an Ulster Unionist Party negotiator on the Good Friday Agreement.

He has been writing a weekly column for the ‘Irish Examiner since 2006.

…. Mr Vaughan said Mr King’s previous columns were being put through plagiarism-detection software. “It is not practical for a newspaper to run every article through such software prior to publication, and there is a huge element of trust involved with freelance contributors.”

Interestingly APCO also makes much of the “trust” their clients have in them. I wonder what the clients being served by Steven King’s “cut and paste” methods may think?

Advertisements

Dr Steven King of the Irish Examiner accused of widespread plagiarism

October 7, 2011

Yet another plagiarising churnalist.

Dr Steven King is the former chief political advisor to Nobel Peace Laureate and First Minister of Northern Ireland David Trimble and was a Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) negotiator on equality, human rights, security and cultural issues in the multi-party peace talks leading to the 1998 Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement.  He now writes about international affairs in a weekly column for the Irish Examiner.

But Brian Whelan who led the uncovering of the plagiarism of  Johann Hari has found that Steven King has plagiarised widely and especially from the writings of Brendan O’Neill, the editor of the blog Spiked.

The Journal: THE IRISH EXAMINER says it is investigating substantial allegations of plagiarism against one of its columnists. Steven King, who writes about international affairs in a weekly column for the newspaper, is accused of copying lengthy passages for his columns from the output of Brendan O’Neill, the editor of British-based blog Spiked.

Evidence of the plagiarism was uncovered by journalist Brian Whelan, whose blog this morning published examples of seven King articles which seem to rely heavily on passages taken from O’Neill’s columns. In one case – a column published by the Examiner in July – there are at least three paragraphs which bear striking similarities to an O’Neill column from 2008.

Whelan wrote on his blog that he had been in contact with O’Neill regarding the similarities, and had been assured that King was not given permission to use passages from his work.

DIT journalism lecturer Harry Browne subsequently uncovered further examples of potential plagiarism, in King’s column published yesterday. That column – dealing with the prospect of Barack Obama losing next year’s US election – carries similarities with pieces published on Salon.com and in Commentary Magazine.

Whelan had previously helped to uncover accusations against London Independent columnist Johann Hari, which resulted in Hari being stripped of his 2008 Orwell Prize and suspended from duty at his paperHari is now on unpaid leave from the Independent.

Brian Whelan writes:

… King was Educated at Oxford, Queen’s and the University of Ulster, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, a Master of Social Science in Humanities and a Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science.

I will show below that he has been extensively passing off the ideas of Spiked Online’s Brendan O’Neill as his own. I have contacted O’Neill who says he has never met King and never gave permission for any of his work to be reproduced by him. …

Presumably King gets paid by the Irish Examiner and – indirectly – by  thousands of readers and then this becomes a case of theft and fraud and not just of his ethics.

Related: Hari, Johann: Plagiarising Churnalist


%d bloggers like this: