ESPN anchor Will Selva accused of plagiarism

Thursday, December 30th, 2010 By

Orange County Register

Will Selva was accused of plagiarizing his script from the Orange County Register. Image: emdot / Flickr / CC-BY

Will Selva, anchor for the ESPN news network, has been suspended after being accused of plagiarism. The passage at issue was reportedly copied without attribution from Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register. This is just the latest incident highlighting the debate about the cost of and credit for news content.

Will Selva suspended for alleged plagiarism

On the overnight program “Highlight Express,” anchor Will Selva talked about the Los Angeles Lakers versus San Antonio Spurs game. The majority of that on-air spot was taken word-for-word from an Orange County Register column about the same game, written by Kevin Ding. Will Selva did not offer any credit for the content while he was on the air. He did issue an apology on Wednesday for what he called a “mistake.” Reportedly, Will Selva had copied the column over to his script while doing research and “forgot to rewrite it.” In a statement, Will responded to the allegations by saying

“I made a horrible mistake, and I’m deeply sorry. I sincerely apologize for my sloppiness, especially to Kevin Ding, viewers and colleagues.”

Will Selva suspended indefinitely

In response to the accusations of plagiarism, the ESPN network has indefinitely suspended Will Selva. Accidental or not, plagiarism of content is proving to be a very sticky issue for many media outlets. Recently, magazine “Cooks Source” has been called out and lambasted online for stealing content from just about every source available online. With 24-hour news networks and a constant online stream of content, plagiarism is both easier and more tempting than ever. ESPN has said that it will take “appropriate action” in researching and addressing Will Selva’s mistake, but the bigger issue is whether there is a strong enough system of content protection online. Some think a content protection system is impossible online, and plagiarism will be an ongoing issue for online content creators.

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