>>For those of you interested in the pliagarism discussion we had
>>earlier this month, I wanted to share this interesting example of,
>>apparently, the variety of conventions for citation and different
>>ideas about what is considered pliagarism.
>>A little context first. I got the email below from Mother Jones, a
>>liberal news/investigative journalism outlet. As I was reading it,
>>I was struck by the discussion of the genesis of the New York Times
>>story they trace. In particular, I noticed that a blogger named
>>John Marshall felt compelled to cite the work by the Mother Jones
>>journalist, while the New York Times authors did not (See the red &
>>bolded text below). Clearly, the Mother Jones folks think that the
>>New York Times "took" their work, that is, that they committed
>>plagiarism. Are there different criteria for citation in blogs than
>>print media? I would think yes, but who would of thought that,
>>apparently, they are more "lax" in the print media.
A few more interesting things to note about this. One, Mother Jones
doesn't seem all that upset about it, and, to my knowledge, this
incident of purported plagiarism at the nation's paper of record
which has had some scandals of a similar type in recent years, has
gotten no coverage. It seems not to be worthy of discussion. This
leads me to ask some questions. Is taking other people's work in
journalistic media just a non-issue? It seems to me that a
student-journalist would be held to higher standards. If so, I think
this might give us pause to consider why it is that in academia we
get so agitated about this issue. Are we out of step with beliefs
about intellectual property? At the very least, this story indicates
that the conventions of citation and the criteria for plagiarism are
hardly cut and dry as they are so often portrayed.
>>While pundits analyze the historic mid-term elections, I want to
>>share with you how smart, fearless journalism by Mother Jones
>>influenced mainstream political coverage of the election.
>>You might have seen the November 6, 2006 front page story in the
>>New York Times by reporter Christopher Drew ("New Telemarketing
>>Ploy Steers Voters on Republican Path"). It's worth a look, not
>>just because it's an important story, and not just because
>>Mother Jones helped break it about three weeks ago.
>>About ten days before the Times' piece was published, Mother
>>Jones I-Team Investigative Fellow Dan Schulman's October 26
>>story "Tales of a Pollster" looked at how ccAdvertising, a push
>>poll company funded by Texan Robert Perry, who was also the
>>money behind the Swiftboat attacks on John Kerry in 2004, used
>>automated telemarketing to try to confuse Democratic and
>>undecided voters and get them to stay away from the polls. You
>>can see Schulman's story. Click below
>>Schulman's story in turn was cited by John Marshall's popular
>>blog, Talkingpointsmemo.com a few days later, when they reported
>>on how "push polling" was hitting campaigns in a half dozen
>>states leading up to this week's elections.
>>The Times built their push-poll story, in turn, on the Mother
>>Jones and Talkingpointsmemo reporting. Even though it didn't
>>credit either of us, we're happy the New York Times decided to
>>put it on their front page.
>>But just as importantly, this reveals how "news" gets made these
>>days, and about how Mother Jones and independent media have an
>>impact on the process. Fact is, someone else, Dan Schulman here
>>at Mother Jones, and the staff at Talkingpointsmemo, did the
>>heavy lifting for the Times' story.
>>That says a lot about the state of commercial media, an industry
>>that is hemorrhaging investigative staff, resources and budgets
>>to better their bottom line (even the New York Times). With a
>>smaller investigative reporting staff, news media outlets look
>>to other organizations for quality, fact-checked, content.
>>Mother Jones is happy to oblige.
>>Like you, we want our reporting to make a difference. This is
>>one real-time example of how the media works and the important
>>role Mother Jones plays within it. For more on the story, take a
>>look at Dan Schulman's entry in the MoJoBlog.
>>Thank you all for your generous support. We couldn't have the
>>impact we have without your help!
>>Mother Jones is a non profit organization that relies on gifts
>>from friends like you to expand our cutting edge, independent
>>investigative journalism. Click below to make a tax deductible
>>gift to the Mother Jones Investigative Fund
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>>To stop receiving Mother Jones Investigative Fund, unsubscribe
>>using the following link:
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>Dominic J. Voge
>UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education
>Language, Literacy and Culture
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>"What we seek to know is our knowledge of reality, not Reality."--
>Anne E. Berthoff
Knowledge emerges only through invention and reinvention, through
the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry men pursue in
the world, with the world, and with each other. --Paolo Freire
Dominic (Nic) J. Voge
Study Strategies Program Coordinator
University of California, Berkeley
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