Jonathan Broder, who had been a foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune for almost a decade, resigned this week amid charges that an article he wrote on troubles in the West Bank contained material plagiarized from a column in the Jerusalem Post.
The Tribune, which had nominated Broder for the Pulitzer Prize, announced in yesterday's paper that Broder had resigned after a story appeared Feb. 22 under his byline that included "a number of sentences and phrases taken, without attribution," from a story on the West Bank by Jerusalem Post writer Joel Greenberg.
"The facts in the Tribune story, which included substantial original material, were accurate," the short announcement in the Tribune said. "The language taken from the Jerusalem Post column constitutes only a fraction of the total story and contributed significantly only to organization and imagery. But the byline inaccurately implied that it was all Mr. Broder's work."
The announcement was made on Page 2 under the Tribune's "Corrections and Clarifications" headline.
Broder's departure from the Tribune dismayed some fellow staff members, who said that during the recent eruptions on the West Bank he was writing with the passion and expertise that comes only from spending so many years as a correspondent in the Middle East.
"He had done the most incredible work in 1987," said Tribune Editor James Squires. "But he was obsessed by the story, wouldn't take any help. He was suffering from the physical fatigue and trauma of watching that story. It's so sad -- you have to look at it and just say, 'What happened?'
"There is an explanation for what happened," Squires said, "but there is no justification for it."
Squires, who withdrew the Tribune's Pulitzer nomination of Broder's work on Friday, said he first learned of the possibility of plagiarism in a letter from a Chicago woman who read both the Tribune and the international edition of the Jerusalem Post.
Greenberg, who covers the West Bank for the Post, could not be reached for comment. Broder, who was believed to be in California with relatives, also could not be reached.
"What has also happened here has deprived us of one of the premier foreign correspondents in the country," Squires said.
A foreign correspondent for 16 years, Broder (who is not related to Washington Post reporter and columnist David Broder) joined the Associated Press in Tel Aviv and was there for five years. In 1975, he joined Westinghouse as a radio reporter and later worked for NBC News in Israel, Egypt and Lebanon. He began as a special correspondent in 1977 and was appointed the Tribune's Mideast correspondent. He won a Tribune Beck award for his dispatches on the Iran-Iraq war.
In 1982, he was Far East correspondent and in 1984 won the Sigma Delta Chi Peter Lisagor award, an Associated Press editors' award and his second Tribune Beck award for his reporting from Afghanistan. He began a second tour as the Tribune's Mideast correspondent in 1985.
Some of the comparisons between Broder's story and Greenberg's:
Greenberg: "Anyone travelling the roads of the West Bank these days cannot fail to sense the change that has come over the area in the last two months."
Broder: "Anyone traveling the roads of the West Bank these days cannot fail to notice the fundamental change that has overtaken the area in the last 10 weeks."
Greenberg: "The injured can be seen in many homes: young and older men and even children with bruises and fractures, women with black and blue marks and bandaged arms -- victims of beatings, rubber bullets, tear-gas inhalation and sometimes gunfire."
Broder: "The injured can be found in many homes, as well -- men, women and children bearing bruises, fractures and bandaged limbs, the victims of Israeli gunfire, beatings, rubber bullets and tear gas inhalation."