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Plagiarism is using the written materials of another person without attributing the original writer and passing them as yours, in many cases those committing this crime get paid for the articles of the people. 'Plagiarism is crime committed with impunity by people out to enrich them' said Vincent Roy Agoya, lecturer in Journalism and former crime reporter with The People Daily, Kenya Plagiarism neutralizes the content and quality of the work of art Says Njenga Gathecha, Communications Director Ovid Afrika Media adding that it in turn kills the industry as the artist no longer have the urge to produce for the benefit of plagiarists.
According to the second edition of the Media council of Kenya's booklet on Ethics and Practise of Journalism in Kenya plagiarism is the infringement of the rights of the artist, may he/she be a writer or producer, and it is a criminal offence in the section 9 of that same booklet.
Students in many institutions have been committing this crime deliberately. While in the process of writing their research papers and their dissertations the students do copy what their colleagues have done or what was presented by their predecessors.
The lecturers do not bother to check the legitimacy of the work done, they lack the capacity and the technological know how to check the authenticity of the work handed to them.
In many mid level colleges here in Kenya with exam bodies abroad, the students have been submitting dissertations that have already been submitted in the past, they have been doing this simply because they anticipate that the examiners will not bother to check whether a similar project has been submitted before. Students also sell their researches and conspire to cheat the examiners who include their own teachers.
In the newsrooms editors of various publications have been plagiarizing by using articles that have been submitted hitherto and by other innocent writers, all what they do is change that titles and the by-lines and cleverly edit the articles and have them published -they benefit by receiving all the credit and the payment thereof.
In the broadcast media plagiarism has also been rife, tricky producers ask members of the audience to send them Emails with ideas of the programmes they would done and how, they also promise to reward the audience or give them a chance to be part of the production team, members of the audience enthusiastically write long emails detailing the programmes they would want done, they give details of how the programmes should be done,( in my view this is scripting and directing of programmes)producers in turn never reward the members of the audience no do they give them a chance to be part of the production team, but the ideas are promptly used, this is outright Plagiarism.
Failure to inform a writer or a contributor that you are going to use his work of art is tantamount to plagiarism said Hillary Lisimba producer with Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC).
It is therefore imperative for the masses to be educated on instances of plagiarism since many have lost tremendously due to ignorance.
Ovid Afrika Media
MCK-Ethics and Practice of Journalism in Kenya 2nd Edition