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View Diary: UMass Mao library book story is a hoax (140 comments)

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  •  i think the important thing to learn is TO SOURCE (4.00)
    It's true that we are better at admitting our mistakes, but also at learning from them.

    Let's make a checkbox at every diary entry page, asking people to confirm that they have included links to any facts alleged in the diary, if they are not first-hand stories. Or if they have not included links then they should include as much information as they have and explain why they can't link.

    I don't think you can hold comments to the same standard. But diaries should say "Professors report..." and not "this is a fact".

    This is blogging, not journalism, but we want to hold ourselves to a higher standard than Judith Miller, who waved off criticisms with something like... if my sources are wrong, then I'm wrong...

    No, if all you report is what sources said, and why you believe them to be accurate or not, you've left the decision in the hands of the reader.

    You also leave a trail for the sleuths among us who love to fact-check.

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. ~~ Mohandas Gandhi

    by TimeTogether on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 03:01:42 AM PST

    •  It was sourced (none)
      It was sourced.  That's what makes this important to frontpage.  The sources apparently was a local newspaper.  The reporter verified the story with another professor--or at least that that was what the student had said.  And then printed.

      The librarian organization was the first to be sceptical; Boing Boing covered this aspect.

      From the Kossack perspective, the problem wasn't sourcing, the problem was an adequate amount of scepticism to ask "Why Chairman Mao? Why now?  Why not some Arabic book?"  Which was the only way further questioning could be opened.  The librarians did this; Kossacks didn't.  Let's learn.

      -6.00/-7.18 The revolution starts now--in your own back yard, in your own home town

      by TarheelDem on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 03:18:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The essence of investigative journalism (none)
      is verification. All too often, we're happy to take an unsourced story and spread it as fact. More importantly, the corporate media continually spreads unsourced/anonymous source stories, which is sometimes appropriate, but then the story should include the disclaimer clearly instead of saying "sources close to the investigation."

      All too often, remember, politicians do this to float an idea for garnering public reaction.

      And I want to point out that on one of the most significant stories -- the NSA spying -- was not printed, much to our dismay, for a year. It was, in fact, not printed until the White House verified it with a command performance in the Oval Office. That's some damned good verification.

      I've worked on countless stories where there was a long publication trail that proved wrong. Columbine was a great example, there were hundreds of wrong things published in the days after; and the corporate media never corrected that record so it still exists as truth though it's bullshit.

      And the final part of the responsibility is what's happening here -- correction, loud and clear correction. Swallow your pride and stand up straight and correct the friggin record. Helps you sleep better at night.

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