Journalist accused of plagiarising himself in article about UAE National Day
DUBAI: A journalist working at the Gulf Express newspaper in Dubai has been suspended following allegations that he plagiarised himself in an article about this weekend’s UAE National Day celebrations.
Connor O’Shaunessey, a 34-year-old reporter from Ireland who has been working in the UAE since 2009, is purported to have used lines taken from a number of articles he wrote about the same anniversary over the past four years.
“If you take O’Shaunessey’s article in today’s paper headlined ‘Thousands declare their love for the UAE on National Day’, for example, it clearly features elements of his piece last year headlined ‘Happy Birthday UAE: A nation celebrates’,” claimed media analyst Penny Francis. “In fact, both use the sentence ‘the streets were lined with residents of all ages and backgrounds, all enthusiastically waving UAE flags and affirming their deep admiration for their glorious nation on its anniversary,’ and both go on to describe the ‘delighted faces of the children, many painted in the UAE’s iconic colours’.”
In an article from 2011 entitled ‘Three cheers for the UAE on National Day!’, O’Shaunessy is alleged to have used the same quote from the same excitable grandmother outlining her respect and appreciation for the rich culture and heritage of the country.
“I mean, he hasn’t even attempted to give her a different name,” said Francis.
This isn’t the first time O’Shaunessey has come under fire for his journalistic work in the UAE. Last year, while working as a sub editor, he was accused of arranging an article about the Dubai Shopping Festival so that it read ‘JUST KILL ME NOW’ down the side of the newspaper, an incident he later described as an “unfortunate coincidence”.