• Zach Finkelstein

The Portland Press Herald Plagiarized Our Latest Article. The Paper Denies It, Stands by Writer.

Updated: May 10

A recent article by Bob Keyes at the Portland Press Herald, entitled 'Choirs may have to remain silent long after society reopens', plagiarized content from Middleclass Artist's latest piece, 'NATS Panel of Experts Lays Out Sobering Future for Singers: "No Vaccine, No Safe Public Singing',


On May 6th at 7:17AM PST, Middleclass Artist posted an article, outlining the latest findings from an educational panel entitled, 'What Do Science and Data Say About the Near Term Future of Singing?'.


A day later, writer Bob Keyes visited Middleclass Artist and signed up for a subscription to our latest updates:

Two days later, Bob Keyes published an article lifting lines directly from our work:


Middleclass Artist's copy and the Facebook intro, shared over 1,000 times:


"In a presentation that sent shockwaves through the singing community, Dr. Lucinda Halstead, the president of the Performing Arts Medical Association and the Medical Director of the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of South Carolina, concluded that there is no safe way for singers to rehearse together until there is a COVID-19 vaccine and a 95% effective treatment in place, in her estimates at least 18-24 months away.


...Dr. Halstead and Dr. Donald Milton, an infectious bio-aerosol specialist at the University of Maryland"


Portland Press Herald's copy:


"There is no safe way for singers to rehearse as a group until there is a vaccine and a 95 percent-effective treatment for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and it could be two years before both happen, a national panel of music and medical experts told choral directors this week. That message, delivered in a webinar on Tuesday night, sent shockwaves across the global music community."


...Dr. Lucinda Halstead, president of the Performing Arts Medicine Association and medical director of the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of South Carolina, and Dr. Donald Milton, an infectious bio-aerosol specialist at the University of Maryland..."

A number of other striking similarities appear throughout Keyes' article, including the same three takeaways, the order of arguments, out of exact chronological order, and specific quotes that Middleclass Artist used to combine different sections of the research.


Middleclass Artist appreciates the intent of the Portland Press Herald to bring awareness of singers' issues to the broader public and was disappointed by the response from their editorial team to a request for citation and a correction of the record:


"We take any suspicion of plagiarism seriously, and I have discussed your concerns at length with Bob. I am confident that Bob’s writing came directly from his interviews with several people who watched and took notes during the talk (including the person who organized it), all of whom had the same takeaways...He learned about your article from one of the people he interviewed and did not use it a reference when writing his own."


ZF


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