Dominick Ingram, sports editor, Terrence Shambley Jr., executive editor
This year’s Echo staff has, in recent weeks, learned that the paper’s sports section has a history of plagiarism that at minimum dates back to 2017. Our staff, namely our sports editor and executive editor, apologize deeply to our Augsburg community, and specifically Augsburg’s sports community, for the harm and distrust that this plagiarism has caused over the years.
In respect to The Echo’s stated commitment of strengthening our journalistic writing skills and integrity, the sports section is making big changes to our approach for future issues. Traditionally, the sports section has accepted a culture of journalism that is unoriginal, repeats information from outside sources and that does not appropriately cite them. Moving forward, the section will build a culture of writing stories that are original, unique to our Auggie sports and readership and that appropriately cites external sources when used. Additionally, the section will become more diverse and creative in the stories that it covers.
We aim to use this culture shift as an opportunity to recruit new writers and thrust The Echo’s commitments into action. Thus, for the next three Echo issues, the section is exclusively dedicating its print space to contributors and staff writers who normally do not write for the section. Articles written by current sports staff writers will only be published on The Echo’s website during that time. Staff have also created resources that will be used to re-train current and future writers on good practices for conducting original journalism.
2020 is a year of new beginnings and we envision The Echo’s sports section becoming a space where Auggie sports thrives and where our athletes feel their sports are respected by their school newspaper.