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Published On:25 April 2011
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

EXPOSING BAD MEDIA PRACTICES: Rediff extensively quotes OKHLA TIMES on Jamaat story

[After the Internet spread it has become easy to take original stories from other writers or portals and then rewrite them. This has become a norm for writers of all hues these days. But, what becomes painful is that in this cut & paste and rewrite job, which is done quite efficiently and portrayed as ones own work, the original author is at a loss because his/her hard work goes down the drains. These unethical journalistic practices are highly condemnable and it’s about time that those indulging into such bad practices should be exposed. Here’s a classic case when a scholar Yogi Sikand indulges into such acts with élan and finesse, when he picks a story from OKLA TIMES run by a young Muslim Journalist Mr. Asad. True, such practices are not unwarranted nowadays, but the original writer of the story should be given due credit. I myself know of some websites run by Muslims such as TwoCircles.net & Ummid.com, which indulge in such practices and don’t give credit to the original source from where the stories have been picked. I, myself, collate important stories which should be highlighted and give due credit to the source from where it has been taken. Due courtesy is what the writer after all wants. – Danish Ahmad Khan, Executive Editor, IndianMuslimObserver.com]

By Tarique Anwar

Jamaat-e-Islami Hindi (JIH) backed Welfare Party of India is grabbing headlines. Since its official launch on April 18, 2011 many articles have been written on the party that claims to practice value politics. Though mainstream media including the Times of India and the Hindustan Times didn’t give much coverage but Internet users have been debating the issue with a lot of interest.

A recent article in Rediff titled: “Muslims debate need for new Islamist-backed party” by Yogi Sikand (April 22, 2011) delves deep into the issue by taking quotes from different articles published in some portals. The author has extensively quoted from two articles published on the eight months old community portal, OKHLA TIMES whose editor was recently shortlisted for XCity London Award 2011. These articles were: All is not well with Jamaat and Critics give Jamaat a tongue lashing on Facebook.

The 2,229 words article spread in 29 paragraphs also carry quotes from the comment section of OT. However, it is only in the 27th paragraph that the author, who right now is based in Bangalore and claims to be an authority on Muslim issues in India, wrote: “Several of these comments on the WPI, whether for or against, were hosted on www.okhlatimes.com... In an article on the WPI hosted on the website, a commentator noted that from discussions about the party on Facebook, for instance, 'it could be made out' that the Jamaat 'is fast losing its respectability.' In another article on the WPI on the same website, tellingly titled, 'All is Not Well With the Jamaat-e Islami Hind', Asad himself wrote. The website is run by Asad, a young Muslim man based in Okhla…”

Earlier, Yogi had posed an OT article on The Moderates group without mentioning the community portal. That article on Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) was written exclusively for OT by a Bangalore-based senior journalist M Siraj on request. When OT editor protested to it in an email posted to Yogi he didn’t reply. Later on the same article was also posted by www.ummid.com without giving courtesy to OT. It had appeared as if the article was written by ummid.

A senior journalist Danish Ahmad Khan said: “After the Internet spread it has become easy to take original stories from other writers or portals and then rewrite them. The problem is that the so called writers, intellectuals and editors don’t even follow the basic ethics of journalism of attributing the rehashed articles. They present it as if it is theirs. Many websites being run by Muslims that claim to be a respectable one are doing the cut, paste and rewrite work efficiently. Even self acclaimed writers are involved in such acts. By doing so they are misleading the readers and stealing the hard work done by others. This should be stopped and such self-acclaimed owners of these websites and writers, intellectuals should be exposed. Of late search engine giant Google has gone tough on such websites that have become easy source of minting money by providing third-rate stuff.”

Coming back to Rediff, a regular OT reader Amit Shekhar also a senior journalist was delighted with the turn of event. He said: “This is an achievement for OT that in a very short period of time has been noticed in the mainstream media. OT has made its presence felt.”

On March 14, 2011, www.exchange4media.com also did a story on OT titled: “Okhla Times Editor shortlisted for UK award.” Set up eight years back, exchange4media publishes niche, relevant and quality materials for the marketing, advertising and media professionals. Besides, the portal also brings out a monthly advertising, marketing, broadcasting and media magazine called PITCH. Also, Indian Muslim Observer portal managed by a senior journalist Danish Ahmad Khan carried a story on OT.

Moreover, a London-based website: www.journalism.co.uk also ran a story: “Full shortlist unveiled for City University alumni award” (March 16, 2011).

(Courtesy: Okhla Times)

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on April 25, 2011. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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