This week's East Boston Times includes a story on a reporter's discovery that granulated sugar was first produced in this neighborhood at the Boston Sugar Refinery, which was started in 1834. The piece, entitled "A sweet story, indeed," starts on Page 5 and jumps to Page 10. It begins with a first-person account, but then becomes a story on the history of the sugar plant in Eastie.
William Sumner's 1858 book, A History of East Boston, is quoted and referenced appropriately. Then, unfortunately, there is a long chunk of the story that is right out of Wikipedia, which is rather disappointing. Except for a single flip-flop of two parts of a sentence, the next five paragraphs are taken verbatim from the entry on the Boston Sugar Refinery, interspersed with a Sumner quote on the smell of the sugar plant.
Maybe this was a legitimate error. I hope it is not standard operating procedure for the Times. I know that across America teachers are fighting a daily battle against students who frequently plagiarize from the Internet, as the convenience of simply cutting and pasting is difficult for teenagers to pass up. Certainly we demand more from our media.