Technology News In Danger of Being Kitguru'd
It could be argued that technology news and reviews websites are rife with plagarism and that it is an inevitable part of the industry. Afterall the information is generally item specific and is limited to specifications and facts and it is a matter of who is lucky enough to get there first rather than who owns the right to publish such information. This, however, doesn't change the fact that many professional journalists put in a lot of time and effort into research and writing up detailed reports and should be recognised as such while not having to worry about people copy and pasting their work. Kitguru, defamed by rumours of past NDA leaks to increase their site hits, aren't helping themselves with lack of credit towards original sources as pointed out by SemiAccurate's article 'Kitguru caught with pants down'.
Though is this turning technology news reporting into an Eastenders esque drama? With SemiAccurate willing to go to unnecessary extremes to filter in inaccurate information in the name of protecting themselves from plagiarism and many large technology news sites keeping source links within their own sites before original sources, is it fair to say that they are degrading their own integrity? Ultimately Plagiarism is not breaking the law. Unless the article in question is an original news story, interview, summary or breakdown with detailed information and research report on a subject matter, it isn't stealing intellectual property nor infringing copyright either.
What DOES happen when others plagiarise is that credibility, integrity and reputation goes down the drain and makes people in the industry mad. I know that if I wrote a report that took a lot of research and time to produce a different insight for our readers, I would want credit, of course. Otherwise technology news and information is there to be spread and you cannot do that without good relations with outside (or inside) sources.
We are people and we are not perfect but it is an act of a Professional to cite their sources as to defer any accountability for the information given as well as increasing the credibility of our work. As an author it is our responsibility to find original sources where possible. Some think of it as a small matter, others take it too far, and in either case if it was a serious issue I am sure that legal action will be taken.
As to my own Manifesto, I intend to cite original and other sources as often as needed and give credit where due while taking time to ensure that information is accurate to my knowledge at the time of print, as I for one, do not wish to be Kitguru'd.
Let's hope that this issue doesn't continue to the point of infidelity or whatever other key ingredient of any particularly unrelated soap which could send nasty ripples through the entire industry.
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Plagiarism checker << handy that is.
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