A Connecticut journalist who resigned last week in protest of The Bristol Press publisher’s use of a plagiarized article will receive an award from the son of investigative journalist I.F. Stone.
Steve Collins (pictured above) resigned from The Bristol Press on Thursday after the paper’s publisher, Michael Schroeder, was accused of plagiarizing and using a fake name to publish an article that criticized a Nevada judge’s rulings against Sheldon Adelson. Schroeder is the manager of the company that recently purchased the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and Adelson is now the main investor in the Nevada paper.
Collins wrote in an open letter on Facebook that Schroeder “is guilty of journalistic misconduct of epic proportions.”
Jeremy Stone, the president of peace activism organization Catalytic Diplomacy, told TPM on Friday that the nonprofit had established the I.F. Stone Whistle-Blower Award and named Steve Collins its first recipient. I.F. Stone, who died in 1989, was a prominent 20th century journalist known for his newsletter, I. F. Stone’s Weekly, and his investigative work.
Collins will receive $5,000 from Catalytic Diplomacy, according to Jeremy Stone.
“Catalytic Diplomacy was struck with the enormity of what his publisher had done and the courage required of Collins to resign in such difficult financial circumstances. It seemed to us an act of journalistic independence that should be memorialized,” Jeremy Stone said in a Saturday statement to TPM.
Stone said that Catalytic Diplomacy believes that journalistic independence is important, prompting the group to honor Collins.
“Mr. Collins personifies what journalistic independence means and often requires. In difficult financial circumstances already, but faced with a publisher who had violated several journalistic rules, and could not be otherwise influenced, he quit and went public,” Stone said in the statement.
“This principled action placed a spotlight on one of the most important issues of journalistic independence in America today–the purchase of newspapers and other media by wealthy and unscrupulous men determined to control the public’s access to the truth,” he continued.
Collins told TPM on Saturday that he received word of the award on Christmas Day.
“It was an unexpected gift,” he said.
He added that journalists from across the country have called to support him. He said he was “floored” by the response to his resignation and open letter.
Collins did not have any new information on the article allegedly plagiarized and published by Schroeder, but said he has heard from numerous reporters who are looking into the matter.