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Legitimizing plagiarism | CMFR

Legitimizing plagiarism

JEERS TO Philippine Star’s Alfred A. Yuson for an argument that in effect legitimizes plagiarism, and could give journalists, writers, and editors the mistaken impression that using portions of another person’s work one has edited makes the editor part author of what he’s edited.

In the sports blog “Fire Quinito”, blogger Jaemark Tordecilla found that Yuson’s Rogue Magazine article on the Philippine Basketball Association and its former commissioner Rudy Salud contained paragraphs lifted word for word from Rey Joble’s report on the same topic for GMA News Online (formerly GMANews.TV). (“Hall of Fame writer Krip Yuson plagiarizes for Rogue Magazine PBA article”)

Yuson wrote Tordecilla an e-mail to explain why he committed the mistake: he said he was “pressed” to make the deadline and since he had rewritten Joble’s draft, he was “at least part-author of it.” He has since apologized. (“Krip Yuson replies”)

On April 18, Yuson wrote in his Star column Kripotkin “Double whammy (but a big Yehey!)”:

“I don’t really mean to make light of this matter, especially since an academic case could be made of the issue of whether an editor can lay claim to part ownership of written work, as has been argued about in the past. (There seems to be a more liberal view of propriety when it comes to journalism; whether that’s correct or not, or good or bad, I myself am in no agreement with either stance, although here I did show myself to be loosely interpretive of copyright.)”

An apology would have sufficed; making excuses is just too much. And it isn’t true either that “when it comes to journalism,” “there seems to be a more liberal view of propriety”. Plagiarism is plagiarism, whether committed in an academic setting, in newspaper pages, over radio and TV, or online.