Egypt’s top-satirist Bassem Youssef announced on Sunday that he would stop writing for a period of time in response to a backlash he suffered last week when it was revealed that a column he wrote on the political situation in Crimea had been plagiarised from an article by British writer Ben Judah.
“I stress that there is no justification for what happened [and] for that I’ve decided to stop writing for some time so I can focus on the show [El-Bernameg],” Youssef wrote in his weekly column in Al-Shorouk newspaper on Sunday, adding that his hiatus would be undertaken to investigate “all the professional and journalistic mistakes” he has made in order to “provide a better service” to his readers.
An apology issued last week by Youssef in which he attributed his mistake to “the pressure of work” was criticised for being too brief.
Youssef, who said he takes full responsibility for the error and deserves to be attacked, explained that the original draft of the article contained references to Judah’s original piece along with others, but that they had not been included in the published version.
“I did not revise the article before sending it, although I completely understand that this is just stupid and might not be believable, coming from someone who takes pride in the professionalism of his crew,” Youssef said.
The host of the popular El-Bernameg TV show said that he has already published more than 50 articles for Al-Shorouk and that there was no need for him to even write a piece on the Ukranian crisis, but that he only wanted to give readers a different perspective on what was happening.
Judah, the author of the plagiarised article, announced via Twitter last week that he had accepted Youssef’s public apology.
Source : Ahram online