NY Times business reporter resigns after charges of plagiarism

New York Times business reporter Zachery Kouwe has resigned from his position at the paper after cases of “apparent plagiarism” were brought to Times‘ management by the managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, The New York Observer reports.

Kouwe had worked for the Times since November 2008 and he wrote regularly for the DealBook blog.

Journal managing editor Robert Thomson wrote to Times executive editor Bill Keller with examples of similarities between Kouwe’s work and pieces that had run first in the Journal. The Guardian‘s Roy Greenslade has a copy of this letter posted to his blog.

The letter was written on Feb. 12 and the Times published an editor’s note on Feb. 14 stating that the “matter  remains under investigation by the Times, which will take appropriate action consistent with our standards to protect the integrity of our journalism.”

The Observer reported that Kouwe had resigned by the afternoon of Feb. 16. A Times article that appeared in the Feb. 17 edition of the newspaper quoted anonymous sources (“two people briefed on the matter” and “who spoke on condition of anonymity”) in stating that Kouwe had resigned in a meeting held to “discuss possible disciplinary action, including dismissal.”

Kouwe told the Observer:

“I was as surprised as anyone that this was occurring. I write essentially 7,000 words every week for the blog and for the paper and all that stuff. As soon as I saw, I guess, like six examples, I said to myself, ‘Man what an idiot. What I was thinking?’”