The Ivorian press regulatory body, Conseil National de la Presse (CNP), has suspended journalist Adama Coulibaly of the privately-owned newspaper Le sursaut for one year for committing a “type of plagiarism.”
The CNP announced this decision in a press release published on June 19, 2015.
The MFWA’s correspondent in Cote d’Ivoire reported that in addition to suspending the journalist, the CNP imposed a fine of 500,000 CFA francs (about US$860) on the publishers of Le Sursaut.
According to the CNP release, on June 10, 2015, Coulibaly “authored” an article titled, “Sexual attack: homosexual almost raped a trader” which was published in Le Sursaut. The said article according to the CNP, was a plagiarised work of Senegal-based online website seneweb.com.
Seneweb.com reportedly published the article on May 23, 2015, with the heading “Grand Dakar: a homosexual cobbler sequestrates and attempts to rape a customer after telling him: Dama la xémeem.”
“After studying the case, the council concluded that it was clearly a form of plagiarism in which the journalist in question pretended to be the original author of an article which was nothing more than a copy,” the CNP release said.
The CNP release added that Coulibaly and the publishers of Le Sursaut have 30 days starting from the date of notification of the CNP decision to appeal to a competent administrative court.
The MFWA regrets this incident and continues to appeal to journalists in West Africa to adhere to the ethics of the profession.