Has your work been plagiarized?

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I am sure for many people accessing information online, all you want is knowledge and for some it does not matter how you get it- its just information.

Some may ask; so what if they picked it from one site and reproduced it on another?
Well, am usually a bit liberal, I allow people to just pick from my blog so long as they honor the source but a news organization such as www.computerworld.co.ke has its own rules on that.

So, whats the problem?

Well, for most news sites, they pride themselves in giving you first-hand information written by their analysts and all that. They pay those analysts to write because they have to make calls this and that.

So, what happens when one site copy-pastes your work and does not want to admit it, using flimsy excuses to get away with it. If it was just a matter of sharing info, why not just share the link and let people go to that other site?

For instance; this article on IT News Africa plagiarized my work, but they defended themselves saying that they quoted The Citizen in Tanzania, which first plagiarized the work.

This is how our email conversations went:

Rebecca
Dear Editor,

I think its rude that you picked from my story and did not care to mention it. While the stuff may have come from Telkom Kenya, I am the only one who talked to Nekessa and the quote in this story http://www.itnewsafrica.com/?p=5552 is similar to this one http://www.computerworld.co.ke/articles/2010/02/11/telkom-kenya-wants-users-jail-broken-phones-prosecuted

Unless you have a way to convince me otherwise…….

From a news organization, I think you ought to do better.

I need an apology…

RESPONSE

Hi Rebecca,

As per introduction, I am Denisa Oosthuizen, editor at ITNewsAfrica.com. We have used the article from The Citizen as a source, here is the link http://thecitizen.co.tz/newe.php?id=17517.

In the future we could use your services directly, should you wish to do so.

Denisa Oosthuizen
Online Editor

MY RESPONSE
Hi,

I dont write for Citizen and if your defense is that since Citizen plagiarized then it’s ok….don’t you find it odd?

For a long time I thought IT news is a credible site, but just compare the two pieces and my work was not honored

FOLLOW-UP
Hi Rebecca,

Denisa brought this to my attention. As stated in her email, we got the story from The Citizen and gave credit to the source in our story.

Without prejudice – I have instructed her to add your name as a source.

I hope you will continue to think highly of us.

Best Regards


A. Wakama
Publisher

MY RESPONSE

I find the excuse lame; just because Citizen plagiarized that should make it ok?

WAKAMA REPLY
What do you want Madam???

Just notice the question marks on the question, am not sure whether am supposed to be scared or intimidated, I was wronged, not the other way round, the arrogance just baffled me, I did not get even an apology.

So, my question still stands, just because Citizen Plagiarized first, does that make it right?

Ends

9 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Rebecca!
    first of all show you my sympathies for I also find the attitude of ITNews Africa, quite innapropiate (to put it mildly), not to speak of The Citizen’s. I think you have done the right thing denouncing it, and hopefully people will pick up on it and make ITNews apologize (as well as take down the article as they did).
    A similar case happened a few weeks ago with the online edition of a Spanish newspaper – and it also took some movement on the Twittersphere before they mended their ways! You can read it here:
    http://e-periodistas.blogspot.com/2010/02/arranco-por-el-dato-aunque-no-es-lo-que.html
    it’s in Spanish but with google translate, you should get the grasp of the story…
    All the best!

  2. It is rather callous for The Citizen to plagarize and think that everything is alright!

    While I’m not defending ITNewsAfrica, I think the real culprit here is The Citizen, who should have done the necessary and apologized or even acknowledged Wanjiku as the original author of the article.

    In the discussion between Wanjiku and ITNewsAfrica, the latter have acknowledged The Citizen as the ‘source’ of the story, which Wanjiku asserts to be hers. This is a case that is hard to determine because The Citizen have not aired there side of the story.

    However, ITNewsAfrica,from my journalistic hat, should own up for this ‘honest’ mistake than be on the defence!

  3. Indeed, this trend is worrying and institutions noteworthy of their reputation should live up to their standards. ITNewsAfrica and The Citizen should own up and mend their ways. this is outrightly un professional.

  4. Congrats to standing up for your content, Rebecca. And check it out – IT News Africa pulled their post entirely.

  5. did you take it up with Citizen as well? I think THEY are the REAL culprits that made ITNewsAfrica inadvertently attribute the article to them. I;d say Citizen are more culpable for passing themselves off as the originators – ITNews Africa erred too but by an oversight…

    Sorry and no offence, but this canine is barking up the wrong tree IMHO 🙂

  6. Great Blog!
    How many times my Blog title or content have been plagiarized, nicked, or even modified!?
    People lack creativity and I think it’s a shame that they do that.
    They should do research, read, and find their own content.
    Thank you for posting this.

Comments are closed.