India Today apologized to Slate both in personalized letters and an editor’s letter for plagiarizing twelve sentences of Grady Hendrix’s article on Indian actor Rajinikanth.
India Today is a national news magazine with a readership of more than 14 million, Mondo Times reports.
Indian media ethics site Countermedia accused India Today of the plagiarism back in an Oct. 9 blog post, noting that the Oct. 6 India Today editor’s letter copied Hendrix’s Sept. 27 article. Rajinikanth is the “second-highest-paid in Asia” after Jackie Chan, according to Slate.
The Hoot compares the text from both articles here.
Slate’s Grady Hendrix addressed the plagiarism Oct. 20.
“I don’t wake up on most mornings to find apologetic e-mails from Indian media moguls in my inbox, but then again it’s not every day that Indian media moguls publish my work under their own names,” Hendrix explained.
India Today’s editor-in-chief Aroon Purie wrote to Hendrix that “As you are surely aware we have apologized to our readers for the inadvertent error in which part of your article on Rajinikant got published in my letter from the editor. I would like to apologize to you as well,” noting that he also wrote the Slate’s editor, David Plotz.
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Even though Countermedia suggested that perhaps Purie’s editor’s letter was ghostwritten, the editor took the responsibility for publishing the plagiarized material. However, Purie explained that he had received information on Rajinkanth – which he thought was original material – with which to use in his editor’s letter. He didn’t know it was from Hendrix’s article and wrote “I greatly regret the error.”
He also noted that “serious action has been taken against those concerned.”
Hendrix noted that Purie’s letter included “the first 12 sentences” of his Rajinikanth story. He noted also that India Today apologized in the comments section of an Indian blog and in the Southern India edition of the newspaper, blaming jetlag.
Slate posted pdf’s of the original letter plagiarizing Slate here, and the apology editor’s letter here. The apology letter was published in the Oct. 25 edition of India Today’s Southern India edition. See the comments section of this Oct. 14 blog Mumbai Boss on the plagiarism, where India Today addressed the claims and included a preview of the apology.
But, Hendrix explained that Purie’s letter to Slate editor David Plotz addressed the issue and offered “a satisfactory close to the matter.” The letter to Plotz mirrored Purie’s apology in the magazine, and added that Purie offered “regret [for] this error,” which he claims was made “in good faith.”
iMediaEthics has written to India Today and will update with any response.