Monday, July 7, 2014

Indonesia paper accuses Bernama news agency of plagiarism

July 7, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, July 7 — Indonesian newspaper Jakarta Globe is accusing Malaysia’s Bernama of plagiarism, claiming the state-run news agency lifted two articles wholesale and passed them off as their own.

In a report on its website today, Jakarta Globe said it first discovered the alleged plagiarism when it found the contents of its article on the Indonesian presidential election reproduced and credited to Bernama.
The Indonesian paper compared its own piece—“In Closing Debate, Joko Promises Bureaucratic ‘Breakthrough,’ While Prabowo Strives for A Dignified Nation” — to Bernama’s version, “Joko Promises Bureaucratic ‘Breakthrough,’ While Prabowo Strives for ‘A Dignified Nation.’”
It said the two articles were found to near-identical, save for one line crediting a quote to the Jakarta-based daily. The Bernama version was then republished by a third party, and credited to the Malaysian outlet.
“Bernama also removed the names of Globe reporters Josua Gantan and Andrea Wijaya, the original authors of the story, replacing the byline with what is assumed to be the name of a Bernama journalist, Elmi Rizal Alias,” it added.
The discovery prompted Jakarta Globe to scrutinise Bernama’s pieces for further instances of plagiarism, which it said it found in another of its articles, “Hatta Says Indonesia Should Take Advantage of its ‘Demographic Bonus’”, being the source of Elmi Rizal Alias’s “inspiration”.
“The same story was found on Bernama’s website with the slightly altered title ‘Indonesia Should Take Advantage of Its Demographic Bonus —Hatta.’”
Jakarta Globe said Bernama did not respond to its requests for clarification over the weekend.
Indonesian lawmaker Ruhut Sitompul, which the paper listed as a member of the legal affairs commission at the Indonesian House of Representatives, suggested that it sue the Malaysian agency.
“Legal action should be taken against its representative in Indonesia,” he was quoted as saying by the daily.
A member of Indonesia’s Press Council, when contacted by the Jakarta Globe, denounced the alleged plagiarism as “a serious violation of copyright laws” and said the Malaysian writer could be jailed for the offence.
Bernama, Malaysia’s national news agency, began operations in 1968 after its formation was legislated in Parliament the year before. It is a unit under the Ministry of Multimedia and Communications.

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