Outlook on Plagiarism Debate
Commenting on the Kaavya plagiarism scandal, Anjali Puri of Outlook lists down some of the recent plagiarism accusations in the Indian MSM:
And then, there is the media. The internet has not just hugely multiplied opportunities for the scissor-happy, but, ironically, also for their detection. A writer snitches from what he or she may believe to be a little-read publication, and blogosphere erupts in outrage. Striking similarities between a film review by a senior journalist with the Times of India and a review of the same film by a Chicago Sun Times reviewer hit blogosphere first. So did similar charges about The Hindu's film reviewer. Both reviewers continue to review, and if any actions were taken by their employers, they are not in the public domain.
"Newspapers, even big newspapers, do not respond with alacrity to charges of plagiarism," points out media critic Sevanti Ninan. "The reader deserves an apology which s/he does not get." However, in a departure from the norm, The Hindu's recently appointed readers' editor, K. Narayanan, responded, point by point, last week to a complaint against freelancer Neeta Lal's article in the paper, which also included a charge of unattributed borrowing. He concluded that there had been a "lack of fairness and journalistic ethics" on the part of the writer. Will the paper continue to use her? "That's for the editor to decide," Narayanan told Outlook. However, in general, he believes that when a writer has been found to plagiarise, "everything he or she writes will be suspect". And here's a reader's suggestion, which he rather likes: Let every piece of writing come with a declaration that it's an original piece of work.
If you wan’t to know more about the Neeta Lal article, do read this column by K Narayanan, Readers’ Editor of The Hindu.