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A column by Washington Post ombudsman Patrick Pexton, which suggested the structure of the paper failed a blogger accused of plagiarism, was roundly criticized by a top executive Monday. 

Katharine Zaleski, the Post’s executive director of digital news, told me today that Pexton’s description of an online operation focused on churning out content is inaccurate.

“We have incredibly high standards to the point where this idea [of Pexton’s] that we’re pumping things out is ridiculous when you compare us to some of the other news organizations that have people publish immediately [without editing],” she said.

Zaleski said BlogPost has copy editors that read over posts prior to publication, and work with writers. (She would not speak about Flock, citing Post policy to not comment on personnel matters.)

The blogger in question, Elizabeth Flock, left the paper last week after an article of hers was singled out by in an editor’s note for a “significant ethical lapse.” While some saw Pexton’s column as shining light on the pressure aggregators face (we offered a brief take here), others felt that Pexton was being sympathetic to someone who plagiarized. Zaleski also took issue with Pexton’s presentation of the issue as one of neglected younger employees, whose grievances he cited anonymously: “I have no idea what he’s talking about. I don’t know who he’s talking about. I’m young, so what does that mean?”

(Disclosure: I work for the Washington Post Company, but not at the Post proper. — Ernie @ SFB)

April 23, 2012 // 16:25 // 2 years ago
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