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Thursday, July 5, 2007 7:14 pm

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Shizuoka newspaper plagiarized Wikipedia article

The Shizuoka Shimbun newspaper apologized to its readers Thursday, after a reporter had copied information from a Wikipedia article and used it in his page 1 column, without mentioning the source, the Mainichi Shimbun reports.

The newspaper apologized in an article in its morning edition. The column in question had appeared on page 1 on June 29, and was a recountal of a an episode when late former Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa was threatened by the Soviet foreign minister during a Northern Territories negotiation. An alert reader noticed the similarities between the column and the Wikipedia article, and notified the newspaper.

When questioned about the similarities, the reporter, a senior editorial writer, replied he thought the story was common knowledge. Yukihiko Tobashi, the newspapers’ editorial chief said: “The reporter’s actions were inappropriate, and we apologize to readers”.

Wikipedia, one of the world’s largest websites, is an online encyclopedia available in over 250 languages anybody can edit. The Japanese edition containts nearly 400,000 entires.

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