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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Shills, Comics and Plagiarists at the

I usually like reading the AsianTribune. However every now and then they end up publishing articles which turn out to be comedic gems. I don't know about the editorial policy practiced by K T Rajasingham and Co but some of the posts border on the plain ridiculous and do not show any kind of journalist integrity.

The latest article, which finally prompted me to write this post, is this blatant piece of commercial promotion titled Record breakers Mahela and Kumar launch revolutionary 'Intel' processors by Quintus Perera. I don't know if Intel is paying dear old Quintus to act as a shill but it surely seems to have paid off in trumps. This is nothing but a sell out and even indi does a better job covering the Intel launch than QP.

Then there was this piece by Janaka Perera titled German NGO's duplicity exposed which I think is an attempts at investigative journalism / expose but ends up being nothing more a scatter shot approach to throwing mud at the Berghof Foundation. I don't have a problem with the logic or the topic under discussion just the unprofessional methods used. The article is nothing more than hyperbolic accusations and wild speculation that fits more in the blogsphere than in an internet daily. To use such incivil tactics as invoking the specter of Nazism to smear all Germans by implication, no doubt a well thought out tactic, just highlights Janakas inability to perform the sort of investigative journalism required for an expose. On the other hand if this was meant to be a polemic he has far to go and may I suggest that he take some lessons from his colleague HLD. Actually I was even more surprised when the Berghof Foundation replied to it.

Was about to publish this in the morning when I saw todays edition and guess what? We have a new player attempting to reach the plateau of mediocrity. Todays article titled Sri Lankans fight to defeat fuel prices by Sunil C. Perera appears to be saying something related to the sensationalist headline but I just don't get it. Perhaps someone can point it out to me. Other than an unsupported assertion at the start followed by a couple of sentences referring to consumer reluctance in the take up of ethanol mixed fuel the article certainly doesn't portray any sense of lankans "fighting to defeat fuel prices" unless Sunil has found a new synonym for the LTTE. The remaining 80% of the article is spent describing fuel-cell technology and has no direct relevance to the topic under discussion. It gets even worse.

I was a bit suspicious of the content so I did some googling and it turns out good old Sunil C. Perera is a plagiarist (Note: Since he hasn't acknowledged any of the original sources I am quite happy to label him a plagiarist). He seems to plagiarized most of his content from fuel-cell related sites on the net.

For example

from see What is a fuel cell?

from see What is a fuel cell?

from see ECN build first Dutch hydrogen car

These are but the most recent attempts at comedy in the AsianTribune and one must question its editorial process and if this continues its integrity. I am not trying to adopt a holier than thou attitude here but if this is what we can expect from South Asian Journalist, specifically Sri Lankan journalists, its NOT GOOD ENOUGH. You need to lift your game.

I couldn't decide who was the bigger culprit, Quintus Perera acting as a shill for Intel or the plagiarism of Sunil C. Perera.


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