There’s a lot of excitement in the Lebanese press about a reported Nile crocodile sighting in Beirut river, near Burj Hammoud.

Spawning the inevitable memes on Facebook:


And folks at MTV, one of Lebanon’s biggest news channels, were so excited, they just copy-pasted parts of their story from Wikipedia.

The fifth paragraph specifically…

…was lifted verbatim from the Wikipedia entry on Nile crocodiles:

What’s the big deal, the MTV staff writer must be thinking. Everyone copies and cheats in Lebanon, even random stores use trademark brand names as their own. 
Perhaps someone should come up with a new meme for Lebanese news channels. Real journalism or fake? 

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Habib Battah
Habib Battah is an investigative journalist and founder of the news site Battah has covered Lebanon and the Middle East for over 15 years and teaches journalism and media studies at the American University of Beirut. He is a contributor to Monocle, The Guardian, BBC World, Al Jazeera and others, a former fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University and two-time recipient of the Samir Kassir Press Freedom Award. Battah's investigative work was recently recognized for outstanding local reporting by the Columbia University Oakes Award for Environmental Reporting. Battah earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.A. in Near East Studies and Journalism from New York University.


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