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.

About mindanaw

A Journalist from Mindanao

5 responses to “Plagiarizing just to be ahead”

  1. Jim says :

    One thing you can do is to inform them that they have breached your copyright. Lorelle wrote a good article on how to run after these suckers. As to those print media plagiarist, then you might want to consult a lawyer but, of course, for “small” journalists like us, we can sometimes just watch and see our hard earned ‘investment’ squandered by others.

  2. alasais says :

    Magugustuhan mo to:

    alasais.wordpress.com

    Tem-i of Alasais

  3. jong ladaga says :

    Maayong adlaw,

    i was one of your student in the summer institute for journalist. We had a one on one session on news writing. it help me a lot. In general the summer institute gave me more ideas about writing and its different forms.

    thanks

  4. jong ladaga says :

    Maayong adlaw,

    i was one of your student in the summer institute for journalism. We had a one on one session on news writing. it help me a lot. In general the summer institute gave me more ideas about writing and its different forms.

    thanks

  5. waltzib says :

    Hi Jong,

    So glad to hear that.
    Which reminds me I still owe you an online session.
    Send me your sample work (the raw one) and I’ll return it with some marginal notes, if necessary.

    See you with more courses next summer!
    I hope we have more participants, too!

    Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: