Journalism and The Dangerous Promotion of Plagiarism

Wikipedia defines plagiarism as the representation of another author's language, thoughts, ideas, or

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Journalism and The Dangerous Promotion of Plagiarism

Wikipedia defines plagiarism as the representation of another author's language, thoughts, ideas, or expression as one's own original work. Wikipedia adds that it is considered academic dishonesty and a breach of journalistic ethics. 


The definition above of what plagiarism is, should worry Mass Communication and Journalism Experts , apart from authors of books and other creative works. The unethical practice of plagiarism in print, online and broadcast media across the globe, especially in Nigeria, have reached such alarming heights that students of Mass Communication in general and journalism in particular, appear not to know that plagiarism is unethical and criminal.


The unholy practice of plagiarism in Nigeria, started growing about two decades ago when broadcast houses encouraged students on Industrial attachment and NYSC members to monitor foreign electronic media and sister -stations, with a view to tracking reports and putting such reports down for their own bulletins, instead of teaching the students and NYSC members the basics of news writing and even attaching them to seasoned correspondents. The reports would then be read on the broadcast houses as if it was their creation without referencing the original content owners, thus making the interns in such mediums to return to school or enter the society with the erroneous impression that stealing people's work and taking credit for it, is the right practice.


The dangerous practice have become worse with the growth of online journalism (The New Media) in Nigeria. Owners of electronic media (Mostly private) employ a handful of people as announcers and encourage them to download reports online and read same as theirs without giving credit to the media houses that created the reports. The intent is to reduce cost and maximize profit, not minding the fact that plagiarism is unethical. The trend has equally made students of Mass Communication and Journalism very lazy, lacking the know - how to write news and ultimately promoting lack of job opportunities for graduates of Mass Communication, who would have been engaged as paid correspondents or freelance journalists.


The crime of plagiarism is more apparent in online and print journalism, little wonder the old saying, " buy one, read all". Print and online media houses copy and publish stories from each other as if it was theirs, bloggers and web owners without proper journalism training, are the worst culprits! 


I stand to be corrected, but I dare to end this piece by saying that at - least 80% of Mass Communication and Journalism graduates of today, can not write a simple inverted pyramid story, let alone do investigative journalism! The time to reverse this criminal and lazy trend is now, institutions offering Mass Communication and Journalism as courses, should take up the responsibility!


Editor - In - Chief

Copyright: Fresh Angle International (
ISSN 2354 - 4104

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