It comes to me as a surprise would be the most inappropriate line here after what I have been reading about TOI's blatant attempts at plagiarism. A friend of mine sent a dismaying mail about her mother just became another victim of shameless plagiarism. The woman in conversation is Jyotsana Shahane who write a blog by the name of 'thecookscottage'. Apparently a reporter, Eeshanpriya MS, of TOI Pune East Side Plus did a story on Shivaji Market that was not copied word-wise but printed the very same photographs. When Shahane contacted the Supplements Editor Mr Diniar Patel, she was told that today being a holiday, he is unable to look into the matter. Sometimes under the garb of research, the reporters really dig deep and it seems this reporter dug really well. The blog entry was published in May, 2006. Funny? Amusing for sure.
On September 1st, 2008, Twilight Fairy reported the lifting of her photographs from Flickr. I was baffled by the audacity displayed by the editor Poonam Singh when confronted by the author and owner. I am not reproducing the entire conversation here but this is the most annoying part:
Now someone might point out the presence of watermark but then this happens. About Poonam Singh's response, the dialectical problem is with the misunderstanding of the freedom Internet offers. Then again, a supplement like What's Hot! is nothing more than a concoction of ideas taken from here, there and everywhere. So, fundamentally there is no original content at all. You very well know where did you read something similar the last time... or might just read it again. See, the Times of India is a huge media house with a turnover of over hundreds of millions. Although it portrays itself as a people's newspaper, it is nothing more than a money making machine. Nothing wrong with it, except that it lacks a strong base and uses marketing ploys to generate content. HT is no different. A long time ago (there I go again) the intelligent sunday guys came up with this as a cover story - Krrish Vs Superman Returns. No points for guessing why this was done. There was a huge cutout of the mighty superhero from Krypton and there were idiotic comparisons between the different characters from the movie. Here is the detailed story on someone else's blog.
The point is that everything is looked at from sales' point of view. Thank god there have been the blokes from the respected IIMs. The onus of responsibility no longer lies on any single person - the reporter blames it on the sub editor, someone else blames lack of photographs on the library, the editor takes a hard jab at the marketing clowns and everyone in unison boils the entire game down to the public. Read Kalabaaz's take on it exemplified by the famous advertisement shot in Pushkar of the young hockey player. The blog entry is titled "The Thieves of India". I'd say - mat kar, blog band kar denge saat panne ka legal notice bhej kar. Ha Ha.
When shown reality, they believe in flexing their currency-covered muscles.
I do not see people in journalism working hard at all. Look at this. But the more I will get into it, the murkier the discussion will become. As of now, do try and get involved with all the above mentioned bloggers especially Jyotsna's blog which needs comments so as to voice against these petty robberies. And do pay a visit to this one.