The farcical Saga of Kantipur

(If any errors are there, I will do additional editing tomorrow and link to old posts tomorrow.). Happy Reading

This is the final editing to this Article with Updates in recent days. The development to date is Kantipur has apologized about this incident. Kantipur claims that it conducted its investigation and found Mr. Luitel ‘guilty’ of plagiarism. In its apology, Kantipur has said that it has removed Mr. Luitel from the responsibility of ‘Hello Sukrabar’, the famous youth supplement of Kantipur Daily. This is not clear if Mr. Luitel has been assigned back end job or has been completely terminated from the service of Kantipur Publications but that matters least here. Mr. Luitel’s letter as a Reader has also been published in Kantipur where Mr. Luitel has documented his reasons of not being able to quote the sources and has also apologized to the readers.

The Link of that Kantipur News on apology can be found here: http://epaper.ekantipur.com/showtext.aspx?boxid=145032109&parentid=20026&issuedate=1022012

It’s a very good step taken by Kantipur and the rise of social networking, hopefully contributes more in the future to caution Journalism Sector.

Some related blogs and facebook page on the matter can be accessed from friend bloggers and facebookers below:

http://www.mysansar.com/archives/2012/02/id/24508

http://storify.com/nepaldiary/plagiarism-ism

http://www.nepalnews.com/archive/2012/feb/feb06/news01.php

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150638052786948&set=a.433501021947.218551.688386947&type=1

The above facebook page was the first unacceptable reaction of Kantipur which was condemned by entire right thinking people including me below in my Original Post.

The Original Post is below with minor edits:

The question of standard of Nepalese Journalism has once again been exposed. You can ask me, “Was there any standard at all in the first place?”. I thought it had. It had, I thought, especially after an Editor of Kantipur, supposedly the largest selling Nepalese National Daily, promises on the public forum that he will come with some sorts of clarifications on the issues of plagiarism by Kantipur (Yes, plagiarism by Nepalese National Daily Kantipur and not merely by an individual Reporter). However, the Paper fails to respect the views of the Editor and in effect, shows the middle finger to the readers and Critics of the papers who tried to correct a self declared intellectual and spoiled brat on small values of Journalism and values of feedback of his readers.

Though I said the promise was made by the Editor on Public Forum, it was in reply to two followers in his twitter account and he can state that he made a private promise if he wants to. Since the promises were not directly made to me, he can well question my ability to question him. However, we see the editor of a national daily in many ways: a public figure and a responsible institution to the people and readers of this country as much as he would have liked our political leaders to be responsible. Otherwise, if editors are to lose the confidence of the readers and the people, the nib of their pen would not last longer and they lose all their ‘barking ability’ when situations demand.

Going to the root of the matter and to present the facts in a succinct way, let us revisit the few events that have unfolded recently and in a recent past.

The Friday Supplement of Kantipur Paper seems to be fairly popular among the Nepalese Youth and it seems to contain contemporary topics on social, political, technological, lifestyle and sports etc. matter in a light hearted matter. The Supplement named as ‘Hello Sukrabar’, being focused for the youth seems to be managed by fairly young and immature groups with questionable education and journalistic credentials. However, since the paper was directed at large to the youngsters, it could not have been under intense journalistic priority of editors, nor even the readers complained much on the content and language where everybody acted to be in the modern phase of ‘high and bye’ generation.

However, occasional discomfort of readers with the tone, language and content of the ‘Hello Sukrabar’ was heard here and there in the past. At this stage, if the Editor of the paper had applied his mind, he would have definitely checked the multiplying arrogance of sharp but brash group who worked for Hello Sukrabar. But, rather than putting the system in the place, even some of the relatively senior journalists came to the rescue and defense of that rash gang at Kantipur and perpetuated a persecution of readers’ views not on any rational argument but trying to show all the readers who are critical of the writings as dumb. This has definitely tarnished the image of Kantipur among the young readers who thought that Kantipur represents a temple of truth and fair views. Otherwise, if it indulges in such a corrupt practices, whole edifice and ethics of Nepalese Journalism will crumble soon.

The problem in Kantipur is not rash mind making mistake as nothing better can be accepted expected from them but when the seniors, instead of reprimanding the juniors, spring to their defense with a confrontational question to the readers like “what moral right you have to tell us when you have not seen the printing press”. This was the best Kantipur Joke ever we could have heard in the year 2011 and we thought it was over.

But, now, we realise Kantipur had saved the better one for the year 2012.

The issue was raised about the originality of Articles claimed to be written by Mr. Ashish Luitel, a self-declared intellectual by his conduct in public forum. The number of Articles, till date, that are under the lens of originality are more than half a dozen and the so called writer has been questioned whether he copied them from New York Times. The Articles are related to the technology Sector.

The young journalist, if he can be called a one, who is most probably still flying high due to his ambidextrous ability of copying from other Papers and translating them in Nepalese Language, has admitted in his Twitter Account that he has made a mistake but ‘unintentionally’. Now, it is time for aspiring journalists to know if plagiarizing more than 6 or 7 Articles can be called ‘unintentional’ what in earth would be intentional then?

Of course, the young journalist has not stated what mistakes he has done but has shown a turn around by saying that he appreciates the thoughts of valuable readers. It is very fresh in our mind that it’s not long ago that he treated readers not even with a respect that scum would generally entitled to. How come so much turn around? How did he take such turn around now? It is simply because he has been caught red handed and people have shown with comparison that almost 7 Articles Mr. Ashish Luitel wrote were actually plagiarized from New York Times Articles without any credit to original source. When the young celebrity Journalist was getting all accolades from the plagiarized articles, editor did not waste his time pondering about the unexceptional talent of a kid. oOr in my opinion, Mr. Editor was fully aware of the source of the articles but considered as if he was doing some sort of favor to Nepalese People by letting them to read in Nepali which otherwise illiterate Nepalese would have never been able to read from New York Times.

The murky nature of this matter raises several fundamental issues like what is the role of a paper in first place? Should not it promote new talents focusing on originality? And What should be the roles of editors? Are not they supposed to be the person who are responsible for choosing and deciding what will be printed in a Paper? Or the quality of Nepalese journalism is so low and editors are simply incapable, incompetent and are there only for namesake?

Well, giving a benefit of doubt to whole journalism filed, should we refine our question and ask Is Mr. Sudheer Sharma, Editor of Kantipur a simply incompetent man in helm of affairs in Kantipur who could not even detect 7 plagiarized articles being published in the paper? Even more incompetent to issue a genuine apology when the matter of plagiarism was brought to his attention? Or, is Nepalese journalism is stooping so low and making way for king of plagiarism to give a stardom in the short span of time?

The readers’ concerns should have been handled properly by the paper and after the Editor promised to clarify. However, the childish approach of Journalism was brought in focus when Kantipur issued a one line in its February 3, 2012 Hello Sukrabar that the source of Article published under ‘Wiki Tech’ should have been New York Times etc. and was omitted because of technical reason. This smacks of dishonesty.  in public and despises the readers. The one line which have been hidden somewhere in the bottom of one of those pages in very tiny letters fails to tell us:

A. How many Articles were published where Credit of New York Times was omitted? (We, the readers have found till now 7 Articles. But, the King of Plagiarism can accurately tell to his editor how many such articles were plagiarized.)

B. With what heading and on which dates such articles were published? Or how come the source of such articles were missing over the period of time?

C. Under Wiki Tech, only one authors plagiarized the articles and published them or Do Kantipur have band of plagiarizers? to write Articles under different ‘talented’ journalists?

D, Especially, how they realized that the source is missing? And more importantly, what does source New York Times etc. means? Whom does the copyright of these Articles belong? Is it under Copyright transfer agreement with New York Times such articles were translated? These questions assume significance here as on readers’ views, the articles were plainly copied from a Single paper and translated to Nepali thereby violating the copyright of original article. Or Did Editor tried to say when he mentions ‘including New York Times’ that there are other articles which have been copied may be from Guardian, Times etc. etc. in the same fashion as were done with article from NYT?

These all above questions remain unanswered and we may never get answer to these issues so long as arrogant bunch rule the affairs of Kantipur. There is a need of regime change in Kantipur as well.

Let me think for a moment Mr. Editor was in a good faith when he promised that he will clarify the issue. May be he came under intense pressure from management, and junior and immature employees in the organization and surrendered before their pressure. Whatever he did under whatever circumstances, when the prig like Mr. Ashish Luitel remain as a face of Kantipur, and any street urchin with questionable education and qualification keep on becoming journalist, there will not be a day that far when another farce like these will not be repeated.

The pusillanimity that has been exhibited by Editor Mr. Sudheer Sharma is another wasted opportunity for mainstream media to show a brave face among the public. However, this farcical saga called Kantipur and its established practice of ‘Quick Guide to be at the top with the help of…………(U know what)’ hopefully will not last long and we can only hope we need not have to voice again on ‘unmeritorious topics.’ which have inglorious conclusion!

Condemn the Plagiarism!!

6 thoughts on “The farcical Saga of Kantipur

  1. Pingback: The farcical Saga of Kantipur « A little effort to change Myself | Today Headlines

  2. This article beautifully analyzes the past and the present of Kantipur’s Friday supplement Helloshukrabar. Yeah, I fully agree that the contents in this Supplement are many times questioned from journalistic, linguistic and ethical angle. However, latest is a move that has not only exposed the flaws within the editorial system of the publication house but also has undermined its readers. It is too cheap for a broadsheet daily to apologize just by saying that they ‘technically’ forgot to quote the source. This was not the case for one story but for more than half a dozen articles. It is indeed plagiarism and an offence. It will be good sooner Kantipur realizes this mistake and corrects itself.

  3. Pingback: यस प्रकारको चोरीलाइ ‘प्राबिधिक त्रुटी’ भनिन्छ » नेपाली गफ

  4. Pingback: The farcical saga at Kantipur | www.rajibdahal.com.np

  5. Pingback: When Leaders Become Burdens | Living History

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