By Olajumoke Okunade
A few years back, keeping oneself informed about the latest events and occurrences in the world required buying newspapers and periodical magazines, watching or listening to the daily news reports on television and radio, etc. But now, with the accelerated upswing in the number of internet users, news reporting has swung from the traditional medium of transmission.
News outlets now rely more on the internet to reach a larger audience. With a click of the mouse or the touch of a screen, you could get news circulated all over the internet and media from all around the world.
However, one major reoccurrence with regards to online news platforms is that the news they circulate all over the internet carry the same content, sometimes word for word. Once the news has been originally reported, many other news platforms join the bandwagon; copy and paste the contents and details of the news on their own platforms without crediting the original author(s), reporter(s) or news platform(s).
One of the effects of copied contents on online news platforms is that it could promote a farther spread of fake news. If it happens to be that a particular “news” or story turns out to be an unverified and fake news, it is in fact more likely to spread fast, which eventually misleads a lot of people. More people tend to believe such news and it could cause long-lasting and dangerous damage on people and organizations involved.
Another effect is that the intellectual property of the original news platform is stolen. This is plagiarism and it is ethically and legally wrong to copy news content from another news’ source.
Although many wouldn’t notice, but it will create a dent on the reputation of such a news platform and, this could hinder the platform’s growth and recognition. No one in the news reporting industry becomes “the big shot” without showing creativity and hard work in all their reports.
It is necessary that online news platforms put more effort in trying to report and break news without copying contents from other news outlets.