By Leonardo J. Galvez
I can’t recall what issue was it but it was none other than Sunday Punch Publisher and Editor Ermin F Garcia Jr. who minced no words in exposing the rampant violation of the tenets of plagiarism.
It’ a timely expose, nay, a reminder to legitimate and working members of the fourth estate to address the issue heads on. May I underscore the words working and legitimate.
My thirst at getting to the bottom of the problem was so intense after reading one of the four adulterated articles that saw print in one of the weeklies. Supposedly written by teachers, one topic that drove me gasping for polluted air was about boxing.
The writer sounds authoritative that it will give boxing authorities, the likes of Larry Merchant, Teddy Atlas, Steward Emmanuel, none pareil HBO boxing commentator Lampley — to mention a few — a run for their money. The questionable article is not about first hand knowledge in boxing but precisely to earn credits or points for promotion. Any reason to the contrary is not full-proof. I was there.
One of the writers of Time, one of the most if not the most prestigious magazines, was suspended for weeks. His sin: plagiarism. Without much ado, he admitted his mistakes and apologized. In the Supreme Court, a justice was also accused of the same indiscretion. Well, he’s still there.
In the upper house, a senator who has the habit of stealing the limelight was accused by a woman-writer from Florida of plagiarism. Instead of admitting his excesses, he tossed the blame to one of his staff.
A piece written by a ghost writer or anybody for that matter becomes an intellectual property of the user.
Institutionalizing plagiarism will have chaotic effect in the fourth estate. Even those who sport the newspaperman tag and who can’t distinguish between a subject and predicate or a verb from an adverb will have a field day.
This is not joking matter.
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