Open letter condemns alleged plagiarism act of veteran writer Krip Yuson

( Writers, editors, faculty members and other signatories have "(condemned) the act of plagiarism that (Alfred ’Krip’) Yuson committed," in an open letter posted on on April 29. The letter comes after Yuson, a Hall of Fame member of the prestigious Carlos Palanca Awards, admitted to and apologized for "apparently passing off someone else’s work as solely (his) own" last month, after sports blogger Jaemark Tordecilla called him out on the incident.


In a blog entry posted on April 6, Tordecilla compared Yuson’s article on the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) published in Rogue Magazine and an article by sportswriter Rey Joble on the late PBA commissioner Rudy Salud posted on GMA News Online. Tordecilla said, "Almost the whole middle section of Yuson’s article was lifted directly from it (Joble’s article). Whole paragraphs were copied, with very minor changes made."


Shortly after the blog entry was published, Yuson sent an email to Tordecilla which the latter posted on his blog. Yuson wrote, "I may have mistakenly thought that since I had rewritten Rey Joble’s draft for GMANews online, I was at least part-author of it. While that is moot, I should at the very least have credited Rey for the original draft. Again, my fault. I own up to it."


In his April 18 column for The Philippine Star, Yuson wrote, "Too much work, lack of sleep, my state of no-mind at the time, maybe even a hangover, let alone deadline pressure at best and worst I can claim as mitigating factors. But in essence, I became careless and stupid. Ideally, well, in smart hindsight now, I should have just shared the byline with the guy who calls me ’pardner’ the hardworking sportswriter Rey Joble."



On April 21, GMA News Online announced that it decided not to renew Yuson’s contract, which expired mid-April, as editor-at-large for the website. The decision is "consistent with the policy of GMA that personnel do not plagiarize or copy other people’s work."


The open letter, for which the 56 signatures were solicited in the span of approximately two days, reads: "Yuson’s stature as a writer, teacher, and gatekeeper affords him not only great power, but also a commensurate degree of responsibility. We believe that he has shown himself undeserving of the one and unequal to the other by virtue of how Yuson has thus far dealt with the matter in Tordecilla’s blog and in his own weekly The Philippine Star column. In these responses, rather than simply acknowledging the offense and apologizing for it, he offers up excuses-his advanced age, deadline pressure, and exhaustion, among others-deployed in rhetoric that belies his claims to contrition."

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The signatories "reiterate what is generally accepted knowledge in journalism and the academe: plagiarism consists of misrepresenting the work of others as one’s own, and is considered a heinous violation of ethical standards." They also "decry Yuson’s callous and cavalier treatment of Rey Joble and the effort that he put into his work as a sportswriter" and "challenge members of the Philippine writing community to make an unequivocal stand against Yuson’s plagiarism." They said they expect Rogue and The Philippine Star to "emulate GMA News Online in its commitment to integrity."



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