Bernama Copied Our Article Word For Word Again Says Jakarta Globe

Jakarta Globe said this wasn't the first time Bernama had plagiarised under the reporter name 'Elmi Rizal Alias'. Here's what we found out.

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Editor-In-Chief Tweets News Of Bernama Journalist's Suspension While Investigations Go On

One day after Jakarta Globe accuses Bernama of plagiarising their content, Bernama Editor-in-Chief announces the suspension of the journalist responsible for publishing the articles

Image via Bernama Twitter

On 6 June 2014, Jakarta Globe Published An Article Accusing Malaysia's National News Agency, Bernama, Of Plagiarising Two Of Their News Articles Word For Word

Malaysia’s national news agency, Bernama, was found to have plagiarized, word for word, two articles that were published by the Jakarta Globe.

Jakarta Globe (JG) Said Their Article On Indonesia's Presidential Debate Dated 5 June 2014 Was Copied Verbatim By Bernama The Day After

The article released by Jakarta Globe on 5 July 2014 and Bernama's copy of the same article, the day after

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Stealing A Look At Bernama's Report, They Are Identical Apart From A Few Obvious Edits - The Journalist Was Named 'Elmi Rizal Alias' And The Article Was Credited Back To Bernama

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The Malaysian news agency had copied the Globe’s piece verbatim, attributing one of the many quotes in the article to this newspaper. Bernama also removed the names of Globe reporters Josua Gantan and Andrea Wijaya, the original authors of the story, replacing the byline with what is assumed to be the name of a Bernama journalist, Elmi Rizal Alias.

After Several Attempts Made By JG To Contact Bernama On 6 July, Bernama Responded The Next Day Saying There Is Basis For Allegations But The Journalist Quoted Jakarta Globe In The Article

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“From what I gather, there is some basis in the allegations,” Bernama editor-in-chief Zulkefli Salleh told Malaysiakini. Zulkefli however maintained that the reporter accused of plagiarism had attributed the articles to Jakarta Globe. “The reporter did attribute the articles to Jakarta Globe, in the third and fifth paragraphs,” he said.

"Perhaps The Reporter Ran Out Of News," Says International Law Expert From University Of Indonesia

Two Indonesian experts on press law poured scourn on Bernama over the revelation, saying action must be taken against the agency as well as the reporter. “They even changed the [Globe] reporters’ names,” Hikmahanto Juwana, an international law expert from the University of Indonesia, told the Jakarta Globe. “Perhaps (Bernama’s) reporter ran out of news, that’s why he took news (from the Globe),” he quipped.

JG Also Revealed That Popular Singaporean News Site, Channel News Asia, Re-Published The Same Article With A Different Headline But The Article Has Been Removed From Their Website

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On the same day, Singapore-based Channel News Asia republished the plagiarized article on its website. The piece, however, had been renamed, “Indonesia Election: Jokowi, Prabowo Face Off in Final TV Debate.”

It Seems This Wasn't The First Time 'Elmi Rizal Alias' Of Bernama Ripped Off Their Article

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Upon further investigation, it was discovered that Monday’s discovery was not the first time Bernama drew “inspiration” from the Globe. On July 1, following the fourth debate, the Globe uploaded an article on its website titled “Hatta Says Indonesia Should Take Advantage of Its ‘Demographic Bonus.’” The same story was found on Bernama’s website with the slightly altered title “Indonesia Should Take Advantage of Its ‘Demographic Bonus’ — Hatta.”

Similarly, the Malaysian news agency only attributed one of the article’s many quotes to the Globe, and replaced the original reporter’s name — Basten Gokkon — with that of the elusive Elmi Rizal Alias.

“If It Is True That [The Bernama Reporter] Has Plagiarised [The Globe’s Articles], According To Indonesian Laws, The Malaysian Journalist Can Be [Charged And] Imprisoned."

Wina Armada, a member of the Indonesian Press Council and an expert in press law from the University of Indonesia, told the Globe that the incident amounted to “a serious violation of [Indonesia’s] copyright laws.” “For a case like this, the law is such that even if the disadvantaged party does not file a police report about the incident, the police can still take action against the perpetrator,” Wina said.

"It's Particularly Regrettable As Bernama Is The Official News Agency For The Malaysian Government, Operating Under The Ministry Of Communication And Multimedia."

Wina (Armada) added that the incident was particularly regrettable as Bernama was the official news agency for the Malaysian government, under its Ministry of Communication and Multimedia.

In response to the incident, Ruhut Sitompul, a legislator and a member of the legal affairs commission at the Indonesian House of Representatives, said Bernama ought to be “sued for the matter.” “Legal action should be taken against its representative in Indonesia,” Ruhut told the Globe.

Bernama, Malaysia’s national news agency, began operations in 1968 after its formation was legislated in Parliament the year before. It is a unit under the Ministry of Multimedia and Communications.

The Ministry Of Communication and Multimedia at Putrajaya

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Will They Sue Bernama? More Updates To This Story To Come Soon. Get Notified On Facebook As Soon As We Find Out