Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The Clay Court Affair Part I

I have moved to http://blog.thinkersroom.com, and i have also migrated all posts and comments. YOU SHOULD NOT BE HERE SO CHANGE YOUR BOOKMARLS/BLOGROLLS ACCORDINGLY!!!!
OK, OK. I've been away for a couple of days and a certain substance seems to have hit the fan on the issue of the Clay Court Column on the 25th February

To tell the truth my initial response at seeing my own work in the press was more of mild irritation. He did not claim the writing was his own, but I wondered why he never said where he got it. So I wrote to Mr Clay the following:

To: Clay Muganda
From: M
I read with my usual enjoyment your column on Friday.

However I noted with interest that one of your pieces was indeed my own: the Job Openings to be precise (which I believe you sourced here ->thinkersroom.blogspot.com/2005/02/job-openings_15.html

Much as i don't mind sharing my efforts to the public at large I wonder why you failed to acknowledge the source of the article?

Thinker's Room (http://thinkersroom.blogspot.com)

In response he sent me the following:

To: M
From: Clay Muganda
thanks for reading and keep reading. i did not pass the article as my original and i did mention at the end of the article that i got it from the internet. as amatter of fact, i wrote that the original, unedited version of this advertisement is available on the internet. what i did not write was the site itself. do not worry, your site will get mention, not as a footnote but as an article one of this fine days.so, all is not lost


c h e e r s

Muganda Clay

Which is fair enough.

During the course of the day I got this from one fan, that was carbon copied to Nation's Editors
To: Editors
From: Truphena

The media, and in particularly the press, seems to be on a pressing and urgent mission to cede its credibility to the reading public. The less said about the KUJ fiasco the better, but the latest nail in the coffin is plagiarism.

The Friday Nation has a column (Clay Court) and last Friday the 25th it contained a piece with the header "Job Openings". This was in fact sourced from a popular kenyan satirist's weblog (Thinker's Room http://thinkersroom.blogspot.com), to be precise here http://thinkersroom.blogspot.com/2005/02/job-openings_15.html

At the bottom of the article in the Clay Court coluumn is some vague reference to the "full article being available on the Internet".

This is plagiarism in any sense of the word, and it is a sad day indeed when otherwise reputable newspapers stoop to such depths so as to sell.

I'm extremely disappointed at this turn of events


And this morning this was forwarded to me from Truphena

From: Lucy Oriang
To: Truphena


does this address your concerns?

To Lucy Oriang
From: Betty Muriuki

Below please find the original article as posted on the internet. What Clay did was to adapt the piece for his article, using his own words. It is certainly not plagiarism, which would be repeating the original article word for word. Moreover, he did not attempt to conceal the fact that the idea was originally picked up from an article on the internet, and points this out at the end of his piece.


And this was forwarded to myself and Lucy Oriang by Truphena

From: Truphena
To: Lucy Oriang, M

Hello Lucy,

Thank you for your prompt response. I have forwarded your reponse to the original author (who goes by the moniker M at roomthinker@yahoo.com, should you wish to be in touch with him)

However I think saying Clay 'adapted the piece for his article' is not strictly accurate. If you read the article Clay wrote agains the original i think you will agree with me that most of the sentences are
identical word for word. His 'adaptation' was actually removing some of the sentences and adding one at the very bottom 'apply to First Lady'.

I think insofar as he borrowed liberally the ideas, the language as well as the information, he should at the very least have given full credit to the original source. "The article is available on the Interenet" i feel was simply too vague, especially considering Mr Muganda knows exactly where he got it from, and from the comments left on the orignal site by other fans of the satirist on this issue I am not the only one who feels this way.

At the very least i think it would be in order for full acknowledgement of the original piece to be done in the next issue

And this is Lucy Oriang's reply, forward to me

From: Lucy Oriang
To: Betty Muriuki, Clay Muganda, Truphena

Betty, Clay

Please note the points that Truphena raises. It is just good journalism that we do things the proper way. I hope you will get in touch with M and set things right

Angie Stone - Brotha