PUNCH Refutes Premium Times Plagiarism Claim

13 Dec

By Martin Ayankola Editor, The PUNCH

punchThe online news medium, Premium Times, on Thursday, falsely accused The PUNCH of republishing its version of the letter that former President Olusegun Obasanjo wrote to President Goodluck Jonathan without attribution.

We strongly repudiate this unfounded claim and deplore the online news medium’s recourse to hasty generalization in its bid to claim the moral high ground.

Premium Times was neither the source of the information used in our story nor the source of the text published.

The online medium would have avoided an “ethical flaw”, and served its readers well, if it had been careful to comply with one of journalism’s basic tenets by reaching out to The PUNCH for its side of the story.

This newspaper would have readily shared relevant information pertaining to our story, particularly, the fact that it was obtained from a source in the former President’s office on December 11, 2013 and also provided emails and PDF document containing the 18-page letter in its original form.

That an online news medium publishes a document first does not by any means suggest that it is the only medium (print or online) with the information at the point in time.

Our decision not to state the source of the story was not for the reason stated by the online medium. Indeed, Financial Times (UK) also published the story without stating its source, just like The PUNCH.

PUNCH’s culture of professionalism is its strongest forte. We provide clear attribution when stories are sourced and offer an apology when errors are brought to our notice.

Martin Ayankola

Editor, The PUNCH

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