Tribune backs ex-reporter fired by Washington Post

Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune editors say they “found no problems” after reviewing the work of an award-winning former reporter who recently was fired after eight months at the Washington Post.

Marwa Eltagouri was dismissed in late June before completing the Post’s nine-month probation for new employees, according to the newspaper, after it discovered evidence of “lax attribution” in at least a dozen stories aggregated from other news sources.

Many of Eltagouri's stories online now carry an editor’s note that reads: “The Post has learned that this article contained several passages that were largely duplicated, some without attribution, from a story published by [name of news organization]. Post policy forbids the unattributed use of material from other sources.”

Marwa Eltagouri

Eltagouri was quoted by Post media reporter Paul Farhi as saying: “I sincerely regret any missteps made while aggregating these stories. I take the Post’s high ethical standards seriously and remain deeply dedicated to journalism, its public service mission and the principles every reporter must follow.”

Eltagouri, 26, covered immigration and neighborhood change for the Tribune, where she was honored with two Peter Lisagor Awards for her work. She landed the job after an internship straight out of Syracuse University Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she graduated in 2014 with degrees in journalism and political science. She joined the Post as a reporter in October.

“We have been looking over past stories and have found no problems,” Tribune managing editor Peter Kendall said Thursday. “While Marwa was here, we never once had any reason to doubt her ethics, her attention to her craft, or her desire to be a good and honest journalist."

A Tribune representative declined further comment.

Thursday’s comment of the day: Jake Hewitt: People forget the rampant homophobia that reigned on The Score. Boers & Bernstein and Laurence Holmes were the worst offenders. That said, “The Heavy Fuel Crew” had undeniable chemistry at a time when full-time sports talk radio in Chicago was new and exciting. This reminds me of when Bill Kurtis and Walter Jacobson filled in for a day, and that was a hoot!