The Indian media industry has been buzzing with the news of large media conglomerate caught in the act of plagiarism. Despite a corrigendum being printed, industry observers have taken a hard view of the development. While that is another conversation, exchange4media finds out the views of senior editors of the industry on the issue of plagiarism.
Shashi Shekhar, Editor-in-Chief, Hindustan, said, “Plagiarism is a breach of intellectual property right and we never spare whoever is culpable of this conduct. It is not only about any article but whether music or any other artistic thing, we should respect the creativity of the owner. Our copyright act needs to be more stringent to curb any such incidents in the future.”
According to Sukumar, Editor, Mint, “Plagiarism is a very serious issue and we all have to take our guard against. At Mint, we have a strong code to avoid this malpractice. The essence is to create a healthy work culture where no one tries to plagiarise. However, as an editor you can be taken by surprise. All you need is a young, inexperienced journalist picking a line from here and there and undo years of hard work. Fortunately we have never had to face this problem. But the industry has to take a strong stand against plagiarism to maintain credibility.”
Ramkripal Singh, Editor, NBT, said “Plagiarism is a kind of theft and theft is illegal. We are strictly against any such practice. But yes, if we are carrying any fact, fundamentals or popular lines in our write-ups, it should be presented in right perspective with due acknowledgements. It is a hard work of someone and he should be rewarded in a right way.”
Manu Joseph, Editor, ‘Open’ magazine, said, “We have a zero tolerance policy for plagiarism of any kind in our organisation. It is one the most common and prevalent problems of the industry. I wonder why people even try to plagiarise because their getting caught in the act is inevitable. I think the chief reason why people even think of plagiarising is laziness.”
The two headed monster of plagiarism comes in various forms today. How hard is it to quote and give credit to a person’s creative and intellectual works? Translation and trans-creation too has become a new euphemism of plagiarism. What is at stake is not only the name of a company, but the ethics of journalism, on which the industry thrives. Credibility is the forte of the media industry on which its very existence depends. To plagiarise, is to perish.
(With inputs from Nitin Pandey)