"Star" front page prints portions of AP story without attribution "The Indianapolis Star" front-page headline story on the Yugoslavian basketball team's surprise victory over the U.S. team in the World Basketball Championships contained several paragraphs that mirror those contained in an Associated Press article attributed to a different writer. The Star article, with a by-line of Dave Lewandowski, the newspaper's assistant sports editor, ran under the headline "Yugoslavia KOs U.S. Hopes." The Associated Press story, with a by-line of Chris Sheridan, AP basketball writer, includes five paragraphs that are identical or nearly identical to "The Star" 10-paragraph story with the Lewandowski by-line. The AP story was posted on its Web site shortly after the game concluded Thursday evening. Neither article cited contribution by the other news source. The parallel paragraphs include the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh paragraphs of the AP article, which read: "Cheered on by a raucous crowd of flag-waving, frantic fans who drowned out the home country's supporters, Yugoslavia advanced to the semifinals against New Zealand. "Much like Argentina did after defeating the United States on Wednesday night, the Yugoslavs celebrated, danced and hugged at midcourt as the stunned U.S. team watched. ""Right now, after beating the U.S., we think we can win the gold medal," Peja Stojakovic said. "Andre Miller had a chance to force overtime, but his long three-point attempt just before the final buzzer came up short." The sixth, seventh, eight and ninth paragraphs of "The Star" article read: "Cheered on by a raucous crowd of flag-waving, frantic fans who drowned out the home country's supporters, Yugoslavia (5-2) advanced to the semifinals against New Zealand (4-3) on Saturday. "Much like Argentina did after defeating the United States, the Yugoslavian players celebrated and danced at midcourt as the stunned U.S. team watched. ""Right now, after beating the U.S., we think we can win the gold medal," Peja Stojakovic said. "Andre Miller had a chance to force overtime, but his long three-point attempt just before the final buzzer came up short." Tim Wheatley, assistant managing editor for sports at "The Star," said he was unaware of the similarities in the articles before being contacted by NUVO this morning. Later in the day, Wheatley said he had investigated the matter and concluded "The Star" article should have noted that a large portion was taken from an AP story. However, Wheatley said the failure to attribute the source of the story was not intentional. "The story was assembled quickly by the reporter and a tag line attributing AP was inadvertently left off," Wheatley said. "It is an unfortunate situation and at this point all we can do is correct it and make sure it won't happen again." Wheatley said that a correction would be printed in the next day's issue. He refused to divulge whether disciplinary action would be taken against Lewandowski or any other "Star" staff members. Keith Robinson, Indiana bureau chief for Associated Press, refused to comment on the situation. "If we have an issue with one of our members, we take it up directly with them," he said. Patrick McKeand, publisher of the IUPUI "Sagamore" and adjunct professor of journalism at the university, said that a basic rule of journalism was breached. "You simply have to attribute information in a story, even if you are paraphrasing it, much less when you are repeating it word for word," McKeand said. "This is what happened to Steve Hall when he was there [at "The Star"]. If there is a by-line, you just can't do that." Steve Hall was a television columnist for "The Star" who was fired for plagiarism in 1999. This article was originally web-published on 09.06.02 and was republished in the 09.11.02 issue of NUVO, in the Dispatch section.

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