Did one of the sacked Nation journalists manage to score a position at the African Executive? Only they now seem to have succumbed to the same disregard for copyright and attribution that infected the Nation Media Group (NMG) last year.
The Temple 3 blog posted an article on Martin Luther King on January 20th 2009 that had previously been published. The same article appears verbatim at the African Executive website, with only an extra picture to illustrate the article. While there is a link to Temple 3, it appears that the AE editors did not seem permission before publishing on their own site, nor did they even bother to get a proper author name. Not very executive behaviour, in my opinion.
I’ve recently had cause to question the editorial standards of the African Executive, and this latest episode only reaffirms my misgivings. It is one thing to find an article on the internet that you think might be a good fit for your publication; it is quite another, however, to lift it and try to pass it off as a submission in good faith. Once again, it seems that Kenyan media houses have little regard for journalistic standards or integrity.
People blog and place their work on the internet because they want it to be read. Nevertheless, that does not mean they are happy for those who read it and appreciate it to disseminate it without permission or proper attribution. Not even with a Creative Commons licence. Sadly, it seems that Kenyan journalists are either so overworked or so lacking in initiative and with such lax standards that they are willing to disregard basic courtesy in an effort to fill their pages.
Bloggers, the only piece of advice I can offer is to make good use of Copyscape. Check it often to make sure that your work is not making an unexpected appearance without your permission. If you do find that you’re a victim of an unscrupulous hack, contact them and their editors to get the work taken down. If they refuse, then spread the word and make sure as many people as possible are made aware of the situation. I’d be more than happy to point out anything you find over here, and to spread the word myself. Media houses may have more resources, but we bloggers have greater numbers. Let’s take the fight to them, and get our content back.
[Image by MassDistraction]