Rajyasree Sen used to run the restaurant Brown Sahib in New Delhi and is a foodie. Much of her time is devoted to writing on pop culture and TV. She also maintains a blog foodforthoughtindia. blogspot.com, where you can order some delicious food from her catering outfit. And we can’t believe we’re plugging her catering business on a news site. Who approved this copy?
New Indian Plagiarism
What a misery the social media and internet are for all lazy journalists and occasional plagiarists. Earlier, you could just steal lines from here, there and everywhere and pass it off as your own and no one would be the wiser for it. But gone are the halcyon days of journalism. Now, steal a word here, and a sentence there, and someone in a remote corner of the world, far far away from where your piece was published, will read it. His hawk-eye and sharp memory will notice some familiar sentences, and then you’re done for. A Google search here. A Google search there. And all your stolen sentences will pop up on his screen.
The latest newspaper to fall foul of the plagiarism police is The New Indian Express, which Prabhu Chawla is the Editorial Director of. Someone on The New Indian Express edit desk obviously decided that there was no need to waste time and grey cells writing an edit piece, when they could just copy-paste an entire Livemint Opinion piece which had appeared a few days before. Hell, it had appeared only in the online edition, so who’d know? And who would think that The New Indian Express edit page and Livemint/ Mint edit pages share the same readers? So much for newspapers and media houses knowing their reader profiles.
Given below are the two articles. With the identical sentences and paragraphs marked out in the same colours. We’ll give credit to the edit writer of TheNew Indian Express that he at least made the effort to play around with the positioning of the paragraphs he’d filched from Livemint.
At least he’s creative, if not original or ethical.
We emailed Prabhu Chawla for a comment, but have received no response till now. R Sukumar, Editor, Mint had this to say – “This is an unfortunate incident and The New Indian Express article is indeed similar to the one which appeared in Livemint. And while it is possible that this has happened without the knowledge of the editor because it is not possible to check each and every source of a writer, some editorial checks definitely need to be in place. Standard practice would be that the duplicate article should be removed from the website and steps taken against the journalist in question. This is the practice that Mint follows.”
The similarity in the two articles was noticed by Constantino Xavier and posted on twitter by him.
The article which appeared in The New Indian Express on November 24, 2012
Original article which appeared in Livemint on Wednesday Wed, Nov 21 2012.
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