NPR finds plagiarism in stories by WQXR editor

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The online editor for New York Public Radio’s classical WQXR resigned Wednesday after NPR Music editors found 10 instances of plagiarism in his coverage.

Ten stories by the editor, Brian Wise, were found to include phrases copied from 17 sources without attribution. The stories appeared jointly on NPR’s and WQXR’s websites. NPR has moved all of his posts to one page on NPR.org. The unattributed passages appear in bold-faced text and link back to the original material.

“NPR cannot allow such work to stand,” says an editor’s note at the top of the NPR page. “But a news organization should not hide its mistakes.”

An NPR.org copy editor found “key phrases”  that had been published previously by other writers in an unpublished piece that Wise submitted last week, according to a joint statement attributed to Mike Oreskes, NPR News senior v.p., and Graham Parker, WQXR g.m. The discovery prompted a review of the 40 pieces Wise jointly published on NPR.org and WQXR that uncovered more instances of Wise lifting phrases from published sources.

WQXR says it is reviewing all of the work Wise published exclusively for WQXR and will update additional posts if it finds more cases of plagiarism.

“NPR’s policy is clear: Plagiarism is unacceptable,” the joint statement said. “Likewise, New York Public Radio’s policy is indisputable: ‘Plagiarism is an unforgivable offense. NYPR staff members do not take other people’s work and present it as our own.’”

“We apologize to our audiences and to those who had their work copied without credit,” the execs added.

Update: Wise apologized in post on Medium. “These unintentional lapses are entirely my fault. I did not live up to my high standards nor those of NPR and WQXR. I sincerely apologize for this,” he wrote.

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