Plagiarizing just to be ahead
I feed on words and the elements of composition. Writing news is my bread and butter. And I go to the field spending my meager resources to get the facts myself in an effort to get it right.
I may not be the best in what I’m doing, but I have always tried to do and give my best in every story I cover.
When I get to file my articles, I draw my motivation in the thought that I have reported about something that is useful to the community.
Sometimes, the effort is not well-rewarded. It can be called labor of love, nah, maybe labor of the stubborn-headed journalist who choose a more complicated job over comfort.
I’m cool with this as this is a life choice.
But it bleeds my heart to find some of my articles appear in other peoples’ sites and publications without attribution.
I saw some of my stories posted in an online site and printed in another newspaper doing business in Bukidnon. Of course, not exactly as I worded them.
But the ideas and facts are mine. Wise copycats.
The users are cheaters and also robbers. Bootlegs.
I felt bad about their “craft” of paraphrasing or shortening the stories I wrote in the guise of making it appear original.
Their effort to use synonyms and precis writing are commendable. But I lay my claim over the effort of gathering those facts and putting the building blocks of language together.
I sound like a loser. Maybe. And I felt helpless about this problem, especially that I’m busy with livelihood and that I lack resources to track down my suspects.
I’m training my eyes on these thieves who tweak on my work and claim it their own. I just hope they have the courtesy of apologizing, better yet, indemnifying me for damages.
I know I wrote the articles I saw. The stories just read a little different, but I’m sure they were mine.
This is a problem that forms a separate stream from my usual concerns of coverage in the community where I live.
At a point they may be able to reach business goals by using some of my resources. But there is no twisting the truth. Copying is still stealing.
I hope someday I will be able to hurdle this. May justice prevail.