Congratulations to Kevin Iole on his recent Nat Fleischer award for excellence in boxing journalism, a prestigious gong and Kevin takes his place behind a parade of hugely talented scribes who have won the award created to honour the Ring magazine’s most famous Editor.
Voted for only by previous winners, the award is a true pinnacle for any writer. Best known for his work on the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Iole is soon to become the voice of boxing for the Yahoo site too. All of which provide happy contrast to contemporary, Ron Borges of the Boston Globe who gets back to the desk today following a two month suspension for plagiarism. Most probably read the story back in February of Borges word for word lifting of an American Football game review from another media source, though Borges claims it was from an AP release and therefore fair game – at least I believe that is the ‘jist’ of the debate. The Boxing Writer’s Association of America, of which Borges is a vice-president have refrained from damning their esteemed colleague, president Tim Graham released an official statement some weeks ago:
The Boxing Writers Association of America takes seriously charges of plagiarism against any of our members. I was deeply troubled by the allegations that were levied recently against Boston Globewriter Ron Borges, who serves as one of the BWAA’s four vice presidents.
The Boston Globe last week suspended Borges for two months without pay and prohibited him from making broadcast appearances. The paper found that a March 4 NFL notes column written by Borges “contained verbatim passages” from a story that ran on February 25 in the Tacoma News Tribune.
Many within the BWAA and in the boxing community have inquired with regard to how the BWAA will address this matter. Plagiarism is a high journalistic offense. When I ran for office, one of my top priorities was to establish guidelines for ethical conduct among all of our members, but I feel BWAA officers should be held to an even higher standard.
Making a correct and fair decision is more important than making a swift decision. The Boston Newspaper Guild is appealing the suspension of Ron Borges on his behalf and challenging the characterization of his conduct as “plagiarism.” The BWAA has chosen to allow that process to run its course before acting.