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Aloha To Hawaiian Wikipedia Plagiarist

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A long-time entertainment columnist with the Honolulu Star Bulletin plagiarized work from a number of sources, with Wikipedia among them, and lost his job over it.

There’s a word for inserting someone else’s work unattributed into your own, and 21-year veteran Tim Ryan now has to hear that word associated with his writing. The Star Bulletin dismissed Ryan for numerous instances of plagiarism, an action taken after other outlets began covering the issue, as Slashdot noted.

A Wikipedia editor discovered Ryan had borrowed from a Wikipedia article for his piece reviewing a documentary on the Aloha Airlines flight 243 incident. More plagiarism emerged from continued investigations, where Wikipedia found that Ryan had borrowed from a NPR All Things Considered interview with cellist Matt Haimovitz, and presented the interview as though he had conducted it.

Wikipedia’s Michael Snow wrote more about Ryan’s appropriations:

Sleuthing Wikipedia editors have found several cases of apparent plagiarism over the past two years by Tim Ryan, a reporter for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. It began with the discovery of an article last month containing language that closely matched a Wikipedia article, and more investigation found earlier articles that seemed to borrow from additional sources without attribution.

In response to these reports, the Star-Bulletin acknowledged the situation by adding corrections or editor’s notes to some of the articles. Star-Bulletin Editor Frank Bridgewater took these actions after investigating the incident and also met with the newspaper’s publisher, Dennis Francis, about the situation.


Those actions led to Ryan’s dismissal from the paper.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Aloha To Hawaiian Wikipedia Plagiarist
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