NBC News says 11 articles written by politics reporter contained plagiarism


NBC News has ousted a politics reporter after uncovering evidence of plagiarism in at least 11 of her articles.

NBC News disclosed the incident in a note to its readers on Monday, revealing it had determined the 11 articles in question “did not meet our standards for original material” and “contained passages from other news organizations that were used without attribution.”

The note to readers did not name the reporter. But a source within the outlet told The Post that the reporter was Teaganne Finn, who joined NBC News last June to cover politics after a stint at Bloomberg.

The source confirmed that Finn is no longer with NBC News, though it’s unclear if she was fired or resigned.

Finn did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The source at NBC News said editors first noticed an unattributed passage in one article with Finn’s byline during what was described as a routine editing process. The outlet found more examples of plagiarism after a more thorough review.

NBC News has since added an editor’s note to all 11 articles, which were published between over a period stretching from last September to as recently as February. The notes say that the articles contained passages that fell short of editorial standards, which have been removed from the original text.

NBC News said the articles contained passages lifted from other outlets without proper attribution.
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The incident and Finn’s subsequent dismissal had a jarring impact on NBC News’ digital newsroom – leaving workers feeling “uncomfortable” and “on edge,” a second source who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Post.

The Post exclusively obtained leaked audio of the meeting in which current NBC News staffers learned of the incident. Catherine Kim, NBC’s senior vice president of global digital news, informed staffers of the incident during a virtual editorial meeting.

A somber-sounding Kim noted the plagiarized material was “generally background material, supplemental, not core to the story.”

“Nonetheless, as we all know on this call, it is a bright line that we can’t cross. Our trust with each other – and we do trust each other – with the public, the reputation of NBC News, the reputation of the journalism we produce, is core to what we do,” she added.

NBC News’ note to readers included links to all 11 articles, as well as a message that the unattributed passages “were not central to the story.”

Former NBC News reporter Teaganne Finn
Teaganne Finn joined the NBC News politics team last June.
@TeaganneFinn

“Maintaining the trust of our readers and viewers is essential to NBC News, and our work must always meet the highest standards of our profession,” the note said.

A LinkedIn page that appeared to belong to Finn listed NBC News as her current employer and noted that her role was to “cover Congress, the White House, and federal agencies.”

The 11 flagged articles included stories titled, “Trump renews praise for Covid vaccines, ‘one of the greatest achievements of mankind’” and “DeSantis pushes bill targeting critical race theory in schools,” in a reference to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The latest disclosure marked another setback for NBC News.

The network’s TV side was forced to suspend star anchor Brian Williams in 2015 after he admitted to exaggerating several stories – including a claim that he once survived an rocket-propelled grenade attack while flying in a helicopter during the Iraq War in 2003.

Williams later resurfaced at MSNBC but left the company for good at the end of last year.

Allegations of unattributed passages in written articles recently hit another prominent outlet.

As The Post exclusively reported, WNYC staffer Jami Floyd resigned last month after an internal review determined that parts of at least 45 articles she had written were plagiarized. Floyd has stated she intends to sue the network.



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