My work was plagiarized by some hack writer named Ana Elumba

Posted on May 1, 2011

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Thank God for Google Alerts. Last April, I saw that this journalist (IF she is a real journalist) named Ana Elumba wrote an article on an exhibit at the Ateneo for the International Business Times. So being a public relations person who monitors things like this, I clicked it to check out what she has to say about it. And lo and behold, the 2nd to 6th paragraphs were totally copied verbatim from my article! Even the photo, which was shot by my colleague, was stolen!

Here’s the link to the article appearing at International Business Times, which Ana Elumba plagiarized: http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/130589/20110405/matteo-ricci-east-and-west-art.htm

And here’s a link to my article, which appeared at the Ateneo Website: http://ateneo.edu/index.php?p=120&type=2&aid=9726

BUT, the International Business Times article has been deleted by the site’s web admin a few hours after:

1) I posted a comment saying a huge chunk of the article has been copied from the Ateneo Website, which an accompanying link as evidence

2) I clicked on the thumbs down/ dislike icon on the web page

3) A concerned person from my network was outraged enough to leave comments expressing disappointment at Ana Elumba’s plagiarism.

This is the first time that this happened to me. I don’t understand why this Ana Elumba had to be so lazy to do original work. My article wasn’t even a press release when it appeared at the News Section of the Ateneo Website. Moreover, this Ana Elumba had the gall to steal from an educational institution’s website!

International Business Times failed to handle Ana Elumba’s plagiarism issue well, too. I told my editor about it, after which she sent an email to IB Times but got no answer. I also wrote a letter to IB Times but got no answer, too. I also left a couple of messages on Twitter, but those, too, got ignored.

That is, until I wrote for the second time, this time informing them that I saved a screenshot of the plagiarized article.

And what did International Business Times tell me after they received my second email? Their editorial assistant (urgh, it wasn’t even their editor!) acknowledged that Ana Elumba’s plagiarsim was a violation of copyright laws. He also said that they were investigating the matter and that Ana Elumba has been suspended. I can’t really know for sure if that’s indeed the truth. I never heard from them again.

Perhaps I should have listened to my journalism teacher’s advice: Since plagiarism is rampant, I should have slapped that news website with a bill for a couple of hundred dollars for the use of my words.

Another teacher, who knew of the situation, said that IB Times’ deletion of the article didn’t really solve Ana Elumba’s plagiarism, and that there was clearly the intention to steal.

Oh, well. Lesson learned.

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