how does ABS-CBN do it? of course we know it’s a capialist enterprise, an empire almost, that has us all bound in its cultural products and basic services. but the way in which the News and Public Affairs arm has kept mostly quiet, save for its guard dogs and mouthpieces online who have poo-pooed the plagiarism charge of stuartsantiago, reeks of yabang and hubris.
because if their head Maria Ressa were smart, she would’ve already apologized about the plagiarism. because anyone who’s serious about writing absolutely anything would know that a paraphrase is STILL plagiarism unless its source is acknowledged with: “according to…”. because even if they have exactly the same sources that were used for Himagsikan sa EDSA, as kbc says in her comment over at stuartsantiago, there would still only be 1 chance in 1,000,000,000,000,000 (one quadrillian) that two people would use a sample of the 1,000 most common words of a language in exactly the same order, exactly the same way.
when i was teaching at the Ateneo and i’d catch plagiarized work, i would announce it to the class and give each student the chance to see me and admit that they had gone online and used information that isn’t theirs. no fail, if i caught two students plagiarizing, at least 10 would admit that they might have plagiarized.
MIGHT HAVE plagiarized.
in truth, ABS-CBN should’ve already apologized for the mere possibility that their creative team DID plagiarize. because otherwise, i watch their news and public affairs shows and i wonder: how much of what i hear is original? how much of what their reporters mouth are truly theirs?
and what is it that they teach viewers when they in a sense dismiss a plagiarism charge? what is it that they prove? that they are high and mighty? that they refuse to be corrected, refuse to admit faults?
this is no different from keeping Willie Revillame on the air, even when his crassness and kabastusan just go against everything they say the network stands for. it’s like saying: the buck stops with us. we have the power to decide. we might have committed a crime, but our voice will prevail. we are invincible.
well, as stuartsantiago will prove, not anymore.