Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Plagiarism at The National?

Post submitted by a reader - "Examples of shoddy and unethical journalism at The National":

As many of us who worked there knew and know, The National is a sham publication, in many ways. The people running it are substandard, and the alarming lack of ethics in many sections of the paper is enough to make one laugh.

Here is a great recent example: on page 8 of the Business section - Wednesday August 31 - there are two wire stories, one headlined "Following every move" and one headlined "Hacker reveals his code of conduct." The first one is a Reuters piece, written by Jillian Kitchener; the second one was written by Rich Jaroslovsky. But readers of The National's Business section on that day would have no way of knowing who wrote the pieces, because the editors of the section (and this has been the case since the current editor took over the section) lied to those readers.

You see, both stories are bylined "The National Staff" ... and at the bottom of the pieces the email contact reads "business@thenational", followed by "with Reuters" for the first piece and "with Bloomberg News" for the latter.

What a farce. The National's Business staff added nothing at all to those pieces ... they are totally copied and pasted from those wires; all of the work was done by the original writers, and they received no credit from their brethren at the "NY Times of the Middle East."

This is unethical, shady, sloppy and simply ridiculous. But the practice is daily routine in that section.

Sad, pathetic. If anyone of any import read the paper, noticed what was in it, these practices would have stopped a long time ago. As it is, the editor of the National's Business section will be able to continue his lazy brand of journalism for as long as the paper loses money. Any editor with any integrity would never state that his section/staff wrote something that was written by someone else; indeed, in some minds, this is plagiarism.

What examples of poor ethics at The National can you share?