Johann Eduard Hari (born 21 January 1979) is a Swiss-British writer and journalist. He has written for a number of publications including The Independent (London) and The Huffington Post and has written books on the topic of the war on drugs, the monarchy, and depression. He also gave a TED talk on the topic of addiction. His journalism has been the subject of accusations of plagiarism, due to numerous cases of him including quotes from other sources as if they were said directly to him; something Hari initially denied but later admitted. He was identified as, and later admitted being, the author of pejorative edits (under an anonymous pseudonym) of his critics' Wikipedia pages.
Hari was born in Glasgow, Scotland, to a Scottish mother and Swiss father, before his family relocated to London when he was an infant. Hari revealed he was physically abused in his childhood while his father was away and his mother was ill.
According to Hari, he attended the John Lyon School, an independent school affiliated with Harrow School, and then Woodhouse College, a state sixth-form in Finchley. Hari's website says he graduated from King's College, Cambridge in 2001 with a double first in social and political sciences.
In 2000 he was joint winner of The Times Student News Journalist of the Year award for his work on the Cambridge student newspaper Varsity. After university he joined the New Statesman, where he worked between 2001 and 2003, and then wrote two columns a week for The Independent. At the 2003 Press Gazette Awards, he won Young Journalist of the Year. A play by Hari, Going Down in History, was performed at the Garage Theatre in Edinburgh, and his book God Save the Queen? was published by Icon Books in 2002.
In addition to being a columnist for The Independent, Hari's work has also appeared in The Huffington Post, New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, The Nation, Le Monde, El Pais, The Sydney Morning Herald and Ha'aretz, and he has reported from locations around the world such as Congo and Venezuela. He has appeared regularly as an arts critic on the BBC Two programme The Review Show, and he was a book critic for Slate. In 2009 he was named by The Daily Telegraph as one of the most influential people on the left in Britain.
In 2011, Hari was the subject of two scandals involving his conduct as a journalist. First, he was accused of plagiarism following the discovery of his repeated use of quotes from other journalists' work as if they were the product of his own interviewing. Then, having attracted critics' attention, he was found to have anonymously edited the pages of some of those critics so as to present them in a negative light. These behaviours resulted in significant damage to Hari's reputation: he was required to return the prestigious Orwell Prize, which he had won in 2008, and he lost his position as a columnist for The Independent.
In 2011, bloggers at Deterritorial Support Group and Brian Whelan, editor of Yahoo! Ireland, garnered significant press interest after they alleged plagiarism in some of Hari's interviews, which they compared with earlier material published by other journalists and also previous written works by his interview subjects. Hari denied wrongdoing, claiming that by presenting his subjects' previous statements and writing as part of his interviews, he was not passing off someone else's thoughts as his own. He said that his use of unattributed quotes was only a clarification. However in 2018, he noted that 'I did two things that were completely wrong. One is that when I interviewed people I often presented things that had been said to other journalists or had been written in books as if they had been said to me, which was not truthful.'  Reviewing this argument, The Guardian's media law consultant focused on copyright issues.
The Guardian later reported that a 2009 interview with Afghan women's rights activist Malalai Joya included quotations from her book Raising my Voice in a manner that made them appear as if spoken directly to Hari. The newspaper's former editor, Peter Preston, wrote that Hari had been foolish, but not dishonest. In July 2011, Hari was suspended for two months from The Independent  "pending investigation" by Andreas Whittam Smith, and he later resigned from his role as a columnist with the newspaper.
After the plagiarism allegations, the Media Standards Trust said in a statement that they recognised the potential of the complaints to damage the reputation of the Orwell Prize, which Hari had been awarded in 2008, and instructed the Council of the Orwell Prize to examine the allegations. As a result of this investigation, Hari returned the prize, though the Council said it "would have been vacated in any case" and that they "now consider... the matter to be at an end".
Hari did not initially return the prize money of £2000. Hari later offered to repay the sum, but Political Quarterly, responsible for paying the prize money in 2008, instead invited him to make a donation to English PEN, of which George Orwell had been a member. Hari arranged with English PEN to make a donation equal to the value of the prize, to be paid in instalments once he returned to work at The Independent. However, he did not return to work there.
In mid-2011, Hari was revealed to have made anonymous pejorative edits to the Wikipedia pages of journalists who had criticised his conduct after Nick Cohen raised concerns in The Spectator. He wrote that he had been attacked on by an editor named "David Rose" (which was later identified as Hari's pseudonym) following a dispute with Johann Hari, and the same editor had made similar changes to the pages of Telegraph columnist Cristina Odone, and Oliver Kamm, a leader writer for The Times after they had been critical of Hari. Cohen also wrote that Hari's own entry had been edited by Rose "to make him seem one of the essential writers of our times". After "David Rose" was later shown to be a pseudonym of Johann Hari, Hari made a public apology for his behaviour. This apology was criticised on a blog on the website of The Economist for being insincere.
In January 2012, after leaving The Independent, Hari announced that he was writing a book on the war on drugs, which was subsequently published as Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs.
His 2015 TED talk entitled "Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong" has been viewed over 8.6 million times (as of 17 February 2018), and lays out the idea that most addictions are functional responses to experiences and a lack of healthy supportive relationships, rather than a simple biological need for a particular substance.
In January 2018, Hari's book Lost Connections on depression and anxiety was published, with Hari citing his childhood issues, career crisis, and experiences with antidepressants and psychotherapy as fuelling his curiosity in the subject. Kirkus Reviews praised the book. Material from the book was criticised by neuroscientist and Guardian writer Dean Burnett, who pointed out that Hari appeared to be reporting as his own discoveries material — such as the biopsychosocial model – that has been common knowledge for decades.
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