Independent journalist Johann Hari has apologised for an “error of judgement” but denied accusations of plagiarism in a row over quotations.
Hari admitted in his column today that he had been “wrong” to present interviewee quotes as original when he had actually taken them from older sources, such as the interviewees’ own books, reports MediaGuardian.
He said the “clearer language” from the written word provided “intellectual accuracy” over the spoken word, insisting that he had “never twisted” any of his interviewees’ sentiments.
Hari originally denied as “totally false” accusations of plagiarism from bloggers and journalists.
Today he writes: “I have sometimes substituted a passage [interviewees] have written or said more clearly elsewhere on the same subject for what they said to me, so the reader understands their point as clearly as possible.
“The quotes are always accurate representations of their words, inserted into the interview at the point where they made substantively the same argument using similar but less clear language.
“I did not and never have taken words from another context and twisted them to mean something different.”
Hari, who has been at the Indy for 10 years, added: “I’m sorry, and I’m grateful to the people who pointed out this error of judgement. I will make sure I learn from it.”
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