Steve Jeffrey resigns from The Anchor Weekly amid serial plagiarism allegations
Steve Jeffrey, editor and publisher of The Anchor Weekly, a community newspaper that has served Chestermere, Alta. since 2001, has resigned amid allegations that he had plagiarized at least 42 columns in the past year, according to the Calgary Herald.
When we asked Jeffrey about these allegations on Monday, he told us that he would “take a look at everything as soon as he returned.” He was travelling and said he would be back in the office April 13. On Tuesday, he told The Herald that he had given his resignation.
In an email to The Herald Jeffrey said, “I really don’t have any way to defend myself. I did use articles for inspiration, but thought that I had changed the content enough to comply.”
Though his columns have been removed from The Anchor’s website, and archived versions of the weekly paper stored on issuu.com have been removed, both George Waters—one of the writers who alleges his writing had been lifted by Jeffrey—and Poynter were able to save some of the columns before they were pulled. The wording was decidedly similar, though Jeffrey had added or changed minor details such as geographical references in order to make it pertinent to the community for which he was writing.
The Herald reports that the Alberta Press Council received complaint from Waters and is looking into the issue. Jeffrey is expected to address the affair upon his return in a few weeks.