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Journalists who plagiarise

By: Mhleli Sisanda Mkhize 2014-08-14 11:06

There have been numerous cases of journalists who plagiarize in the country and outside both junior and senior.

Writes Mhleli Mkhize

Besides plagiarizing there have been cases of Journalists fired for speaking/ commenting and writing words that insult the public. One of the cases being of former E-tv reporter McIntosh Polela who was fired for the comment he tweeted that Jub Jub should carry Vaseline on his way to jail.

Going back to the case of plagiarizing, one will reflect of the case of Keeran Sewsunker the Durban Daily News reporter who was exposed as a serial plagiarist, has been fired following a disciplinary hearing. DITonline, a student news website based at the Durban Institute of Technology, first broke the story on August 27 and the Mail & Guardian Online published another story on September 23.

DIT online, a student news website based at the Durban Institute of Technology, first broke the story on August 27 and the Mail & Guardian Online published another story on September 23. In his Business Roundup column for the paper—which is part of the Independent group—Sewsunker stole, often word for word, from the United States Entrepreneur magazine’s website.

In a July 26 article, entitled “Research your market on a budget”, Sewsunker “writes”: “Would you shell out R1 000 for a pair of shoes without trying them on? Plunge into a steaming bath without dipping a toe in first? Of course not, but people do the business equivalent every day.” The Entrepreneur.com article, written by journalist Isabella Trebond, reads: “Would you shell out $200 for a pair of shoes without trying them on? Plunge into a steaming bath without dipping a toe in first? Of course not—but people do the business equivalent every day.”

DIT online reported “Sewsunker was found guilty of gross misconduct for committing acts of plagiarism by lifting material from the internet and presenting it as his own between January and August 2004”, according to the findings of the disciplinary hearing. Quoting from the findings, DIT online said: “The extent of the plagiarism committed by Mr Sewsunker has exposed the company to business risk and its editorial integrity to severe damage. Publicity around his activities has already cast the company and his newspaper in a bad light.

According to M&G The editor of the website, journalism student Reesha Chibba, told the M&G Online in September that she became suspicious after she didn’t see any sources in Sewsunker’s column. She started to investigate on August 23. “I was curious. He just didn’t have any. So I Googled one of his articles and saw that the whole thing had been plagiarized. It’s so blatant and sets a stupid example for student journalists,”

In conclusion one may ask the question that Has the internet encouraged plagiarism?


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Writes Mhleli Mkhize

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