Why integrity matters in media

PLAGIARISM has been a dilemma for everyone – especially for beginners or small-time news outfits where the resources are limited compared to institutionalized media firms. 

However, as a journalist, it is always your responsibility to come up with a credible article or photograph by hook or by crook. 

Being a sports editor and writer back in my college days in UST, finding time to cover UAAP games and other events had been the biggest challenge in my budding career as a sports scribe. In spite of that, I always made sure to produce reliable articles in accordance with the journalism ethics. 

These days, where you can find most information with just one click via the world wide web, some journalists chose to rely on other works to fabricate a piece which they can call by their own or worse, duplicate them completely and credit them with their name. 

But what’s more alarming these days? Some media outfits and Facebook fan pages intentionally post articles or photos without the proper citation. 

While talking to one of my former colleagues Jenzine Alcantara, a seasoned photographer, we came up with this topic about online media. She was used to people using her photos without her consent or even the proper acknowledgment. 

In all aspects, it was unfair for someone not to be cited for his/her talent and effort to produce a quality result that he/she can be proud of. 

For these scenarios, legal actions may matter. Yet who has the luxury of time to undergo all the required procedures to file a case? 

I guess we should remember the famous quote that with great power comes with great responsibility. 

At your early age, your university or college is giving you the privilege and opportunity to see the real world outside the four corners of the classroom. 

I was saddened with some stories that a lot of campus journalists during these times tend to practice plagiarism for the sake of beating the deadline. 

In the first place, you were the one who stood out in all the applicants in your campus. It only means that the adviser and a panel of judges in the screening process saw some potential in you. 

When I was a student, one of the happiest feelings was upon learning that I passed all the examinations for our university publication. Right from the start, I embraced the task of a journalist, although I was pursuing an allied health program in my degree. 

A thousand words cannot capture the first time I saw my name printed in our campus paper. In our regular circulation, we release about 20,000 copies. 

Imagine how many people will recognize your name? In all your actions as a journalist, you need to ask yourself if you want to create something that you can be proud of and you can call it with your own. 

The life of a sports writer or photographer does not end with having the best seat in the arena. From the perfect view of the latest happening in the game, it is your obligation to write and snap the truth, without any spot of bias. 

Writing or taking photographs come with passion and determination. And being better does not come overnight. 

Being in the world of news making hones not only your skills, but also your integrity as a journalist and as a person. So seize it while it lasts.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @alexcerado