Copycat poodle

In the age of computers and internet, plagiarism in news is becoming quite rampant.

Recently, we discovered that our own sister company was plagiarizing articles from our website, without giving any credit to us. Their excuse was, “It’s common practice. We’re sister companies anyway.” For the record, that doesn’t make it okay.

I’ve come across lazy writers who copy and paste others’ works and pass it off as their own. I’ve seen many of my articles plagiarized, my words taken from me, without so much as a hint as to where they got the information.

Much as I try to police every single article out there, data-sharing is simply too fast and you can’t keep track of it all.

Partly because it’s so easy to copy and paste things, or get lost in the flurry of data that you don’t know (or don’t care) where the information came from.

Although journalism is not all about getting your bylines or taglines out there (the bigger picture is helping readers understand the world), credit must still be given to the authors.

Why? One, it’s their hard work, and two, if there are any errors in the story, you know whose attention to call.

I think Lifestyle stories are one of the most vulnerable sections because hardly any people read it, and most tend to think, “Well, it’s all fluff anyway, so no one will care if we plagiarize their stories.”

It angers you as a writer, when you see your work stolen from you. I doubt if you would like it I stole your thoughts with my mind bullets. I doubt if you would like it if I stole anything of value to you.

We strive to credit sources of text, photos, or videos, no matter how seemingly insignificant. Sometimes we fail, and readers always make sure to tell us about it.

The point is, it is everyone’s duty to give credit where credit is due. It’s a basic tenet of journalistic ethics, and common courtesy. It just frustrates me how so many people still get away with plagiarism.

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