A Romenesko reader points out that The National has been taking other news outlets’ stories and giving top credit to “The National Staff.” At the end of the story, editors add “* with Reuters,” “* with Bloomberg News,” or whatever news outlet was plagiarized. “The National’s Business staff added nothing at all to those pieces … they are totally copied and pasted from those wires,” says an email pointing out The National’s ways. “This is unethical, shady, sloppy and simply ridiculous. But the practice is daily routine in that section.” The National’s Business Desk hasn’t responded to my email requesting comment .
The email about The National’s practices is after the jump.
This email was cc’d to Romenesko
From: Pat Mustafa
To: [Rich Jaroslovsky at bloomberg.net]
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 1:04 PM
Subject: Your review on Mitnick book used without attribution
Hello – As a reader of your work, I am troubled by the below.
As many of us who worked there knew and know, The National (based in Abu Dhabi) is a sham publication, in many ways. The people running it are substandard, and the alarming lack of ethics in many sections of the paper is enough to make one laugh.
Here is but recent example: on page 8 of the Business section – Wednesday August 31 – there are two wire stories, one headlined “Following every move” and one headlined “Hacker reveals his code of conduct.” The first one is a Reuters piece, written by Jillian Kitchener; the second one was written by Rich Jaroslovsky. But readers of The National’s Business section on that day would have no way of knowing who wrote the pieces, because the editors of the section (and this has been the case since the current editor took over the section) lied to those readers.
You see, both stories are bylined “The National Staff” … and at the bottom of the pieces the email contact reads “business@thenational”, followed by “with Reuters” for the first piece and “with Bloomberg News” for the latter.
What a farce. The National’s Business staff added nothing at all to those pieces … they are totally copied and pasted from those wires; all of the work was done by the original writers, yet they received no credit from their brethren at the “NY Times of the Middle East.” (And there have been hundreds of other examples of “The National Staff” receiving credit for work The National Staff did not do.)
This is unethical, shady, sloppy and simply ridiculous. But the practice is daily routine in that section.
Sad, pathetic. If anyone of any import read the paper, noticed what was in it, these practices would have stopped a long time ago. As it is, the editor of the National’s Business section will be able to continue his lazy brand of journalism for as long as the paper loses money. Any editor with any integrity would never state that his section/staff wrote something that was written by someone else; indeed, in some minds, this is plagiarism.
Other examples of poor ethical decision abound at the paper, including a routine habit of changing quotes, using family members/partners as sources without informing readers of the relationships, and receiving free products in exchange for reviews without stating that the products were given away.
We have pasted below links to the articles mentioned in this email.