NBC News admits plagiarism in multiple articles by digital reporter

A spokesperson told Fox News Digital it caught an initial instance of unattributed sentences during a routine edit of a story by Teaganne Finn, who joined NBC last year following a stint at Bloomberg News. Following that discovery, it launched a “thorough review” of other articles by Finn and found other instances of plagiarism.

The outlet claimed it was the first-known instance of such an incident at NBC News, and it said all the examples of failure to attribute were on “supplemental or background material.” It added she no longer worked for NBC. 


In a statement on its website, NBC News wrote, “A review by NBC News has found 11 articles written by a reporter over the last year that did not meet our standards for original material. The articles contained passages from other news organizations that were used without attribution. In all cases, the passages were not central to the stories, but instead contained supplemental or background material that did not represent original reporting. An editor’s note has been placed on each of the articles, and the passages that were plagiarized have been removed.”

An NBC News sign and logo are from seen outside the NBC News Today Show studios at Rockefeller Center in New York City, New York, U.S., October 9, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar

An NBC News sign and logo are from seen outside the NBC News Today Show studios at Rockefeller Center in New York City, New York, U.S., October 9, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar (REUTERS/Mike Segar)

“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.”

NBC did not state whether Finn had been dismissed or left of her own accord. It did not respond to a request for comment on the nature of her leaving the outlet. Finn did not respond to a request for comment.

Finn’s LinkedIn page still listed her as an NBC News employee as of Monday afternoon, indicating her official departure was recent. Finn’s most recent story appears to be an April 6 article about the CDC’s evolving isolation guidelines for coronavirus.


The articles with editor’s notes affixed to them include pieces from as recently as February, such as, “Democratic group launches super PAC to counter election deniers running for office” and “Democratic lawmakers not giving up on child tax credit, betting on Manchin’s support.” Others include “DeSantis pushes bill targeting critical race theory in schools” and “Trump renews praise for Covid vaccines, ‘one of the greatest achievements of mankind.’”

NBC’s initial release about the plagiarism didn’t note Finn’s name or which stories had unattributed material, drawing some criticism online for lack of transparency. It later updated its online statement to include the articles in question.

“NBC News issues an editor’s note about a rash of plagiarism,” Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple tweeted. “Though the note talks about the importance of trust, the note lacks the sorts of details that would help build it.”

“NBC News not being transparent about which articles were plagiarized, who the reporter was (Teaganne Finn), and what their punishment was should blow a hole in the idea that the liberal media are upfront about their mistakes,” NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck tweeted.

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