Film Critic Resigns Over Decade of Alleged Plagiarism

Colin Covert had written for the Minneapolis Star Tribune for more than 30 years
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 11, 2018 6:26 PM CST
Film Critic Resigns Over Decade of Alleged Plagiarism
Stock photo   (Getty Images / LeMusique)

The Minneapolis Star Tribune's film critic has resigned in the face of plagiarism accusations, the newspaper reported in an apology to its readers. The newspaper on Tuesday said it was tipped by a reader and confirmed instances in which Colin Covert's reviews included unique phrases previously used by writers for several publications, including the New York Times, Paste magazine,, the Wall Street Journal, IndieWire and the Hollywood Reporter. "Using distinct phrasing from other authors without attribution is a form of plagiarism and is a violation of our journalistic standards and ethics and those of our industry," the newspaper said in its statement. Covert had been a staff writer at the Star Tribune for more than 30 years, the AP reports.

His questioned reviews span many years, dating back to at least 2009, and include one as recent as last month. The newspaper published a statement from Covert in which he apologized for compromising what he called the Star Tribune's "meticulous reputation for integrity." He thanked the paper for his career and said: "When blunders occur it is proper to admit them, correct them and move on." The Star Tribune apologized to the writers and publications from which Covert took material. The newspaper said it also is removing all of Covert's work from its website and alerting wire services and syndicates that use his reviews. (A photojournalist was exposed as a fraud with a stolen face.)

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