Cav Daily Fires Two for Plagiarism

Twice in the past few months, the Cavalier Daily has fired writers after it was discovered that they plagiarized substantial portions of articles, according to a November 5 editorial. One undergraduate, Tonya Dawson, wrote seven separate movie and music reviews that took entire paragraphs from publications like the Boston Globe, the Dallas Morning News and Entertainment Weekly. The other student, Demetra Karamanos, used “significant portions” of a Slate article about low-rise jeans. The Honor Committee, by policy, would not comment on whether either student is the subject of an investigation. Kate Andrews has the story in today’s Progress.

13 Responses to “Cav Daily Fires Two for Plagiarism”


  • “These are isolated incidents,” Justin Bernick, editor-in-chief, said Tuesday. “They in no way reflect on the staff.”

    Hmmmmmm. I though they WERE staff.

    Are you going to believe me or your lying eyes?

  • that someone would be so lazy as to rip off an article about low-rise jeans. i mean, who reads the friggin’ life page of the cav daily anyway? someone must have accidentally loaded the online copy of the article into the program that physics professor created to catch cheaters.

  • Speaking of copycats…this story actually appeared first in the C-Ville Weekly. Go to http://www.c-ville.com to read a much funnier article, which includes quotes from some of the writers whose work was plagarized.

  • This is how news works. Even CNN reports verbatim what smaller news organizations publish.

    The cav daily isnt a real news organization. Almost all their articles are derived from other sources. They just usually paraphrase it.

  • Lars wrote, “This is how news works” (meaning, I assume, plagiarism is standard operating practice among news organizations).

    A couple of thoughts in response:

    1. I wouldn’t use “even CNN” as your example of how a news organization functions–CNN is no more a real news organization than the Cav Daily. Okay, maybe it’s minimally more real.

    2. I think there’s a difference between running stuff off the AP wire or running general news stories and running something specifically under someone’s byline, as in, “A Review of Charlie’s Angels–Full Throttle, by Tonya Dawson.” The former is clearly labelled as the AP’s intellectual property, as it were. The latter is SUPPOSED to be the intellectual property (i.e., original creative work) of Tonya Dawson. When it turns out that Tonya Dawson stole someone else’s original creative work, then we have plagiarism.

    I think the most interesting question is whether or not the Honor Code will be applied against these two students. It seems as clear-cut as a case can be–they broke the trust with the community, they plagiarized, they should be gone.

  • The URL for the story is:

    http://www.c-ville.com/www/asp/3.asp

    At least, that’s the URL right now. Their articles can’t be linked to, because the addresses change. I’m guessing that the URL will be:

    http://www.c-ville.com/www/archives/2003/11.24.2003/asp/3.asp

    But I’m not sure. The logical URL, which would have a date of 11.17.2003, is in use by last week’s issue.

  • LOL, yeah, think about all that monetary loss now that the cav daily scooped them.

    Come on, who cares? Its a pretend newspaper with pretend articles.

    Students are almost trained not to think for themselves. They spend their entire life reading lots of books, and condensing that information into papers. So when you ask them to write their opinion on a movie, they dont know what to do, so they "research"

    I blame UVA and the "media" you’re right, CNN isnt a news organization, its a news rehasher.

  • You really haven’t read many newspapers. I’d bet that the Cavalier Daily is one of the best newspapers, considering content and production, that services a city of less than 100,000. It certainly is a much better newspaper than the A-JC, the S-PI, the NO-TP, etc., etc.

    It may not measure up to the NYT, WP, et al, but they do a pretty good job for their resources.

  • I suspect the kind of overpraise in H2L’s first paragraph is the reason that so many Cav Daily people are such smug douchebags. It most certainly is not one of the best newspapers serving a city of that size. That’s laughable.

    It is, however, very good for a college newspaper, and on many days it is better than a lot of "real" papers its size (and yes, of course it’s better than the Progress sometimes, worse a lot of the time, and more attractive all of the time. But of course this is an apples-and-orange point, since the Cav Daily’s mission is much narrower and it probably has better funding anyway.)

    Whatever. They do a pretty good job for their resources. Let’s just keep our heads about us and say that.

  • It is one of the best newspapers? Or it just runs the stories of the best newspapers? Which is it?

  • While my praise was strong, I don’t think that it is too terribly far off. The Cavalier Daily does a good (not great) job covering its subject. That is probably true of most every local paper, like the Progress. Its writing is probably a step down from the Progress’s, but not a huge step down (the progress’s staff has a turnover rate not too much lower than the CD’s, if I remember correctly, so it is hard to judge this).

    Where the Cavalier Daily makes up a ton of points is production. The Cavalier Daily’s website blows the websites of most locals out of the water and their print image is certainly around average, if not above average.

    Make a long story short: in substance, the CD is good, but basically what you’d expect for a college paper. In production/image, it is way ahead of other papers with similar distributions.

    As for Lars’s comment (so that I don’t have to make two posts), I don’t understand what you are talking about. Sure, the CD picks up some stuff from the wire. However, the stories that it picks up are generally not UVA-related. Almost every paper picks up stories that are of interest to the local area but not occuring there. The Seattle paper is almost entirely the Washington Post. I think that even the Progress takes a bunch of wire stuff for non-local stories (although since they are part of a newspaper chain, that might change things).

    However, all of the UVA stories, including the vast majority of the front page stories, are written by CD people. I think you’d be surprised how many wire stories make the front pages in Atlanta, New Orleans, Seattle, Memphis, etc., etc.

    As an aside for JMZ, I believe that the Cavalier Daily is self-funded. If they have better funding than the Progress, I can only attribute that to the Progress sales staff and the overly-wealthy uva student body. However, I wouldn’t be shocked to discover that I was about their student council funding.

  • Good grief. The cav daily’s a joke. Ever read the opinion page? Sheesh.

    As far as the quality, the production is great, the website average for a paper, but the actual content stinks. It certainly is *not* better than the AJ-C, etc. and is not better than most papers serving a community of 100,000+.

    BTW, are they still fibbing about their circulation numbers? I recall a few years ago that someone alleged that the 20,000 reader figure was incorrect, and that it was verified to be less than that.

  • Make a long story short: in substance, the CD is good, but basically what you’d expect for a college paper. In production/image, it is way ahead of other papers with similar distributions.

    I can agree with that, but also with this:

    It certainly is *not* better than the AJ-C, etc. and is not better than most papers serving a community of 100,000+.

    Also this:

    Almost every paper picks up stories that are of interest to the local area but not occuring there. The Seattle paper is almost entirely the Washington Post. I think that even the Progress takes a bunch of wire stuff for non-local stories

    And this:

    I think you’d be surprised how many wire stories make the front pages in Atlanta, New Orleans, Seattle, Memphis, etc., etc.

    It really is kind of depressing that there are about three papers in the country that don’t rely on bigger papers or differently located papers for a substantial amount of their content.

    As an aside for JMZ, I believe that the Cavalier Daily is self-funded. If they have better funding than the Progress, I can only attribute that to the Progress sales staff and the overly-wealthy uva student body.

    Well, this is kind of what I was getting at anyway. And the stinginess of the people that control the Progress. Profit motive, I assume, isn’t a factor at the Cav Daily, which goes a long way toward explaining why they don’t skimp on production like many other papers.

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