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Reporter faked the news.
- To: "'email@example.com'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: Reporter faked the news.
- From: "Hamaker, Chuck" <email@example.com>
- Date: Sat, 10 May 2003 23:40:22 EDT
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I hope that in tracing the reporter's faked and plagirised articles, the NY Times leaves the articles in the electronic record, that it does not expunge them. They constitute a segment of what we have all read and experienced over the last few years. Please don't attempt to "correct" the record of the past by erasing it. If they want to mark the articles as suspect (dating the "suspect" notation so future readers know when it was detected), perhaps, or perhaps link them to a disclaimer. Just as in the scholarly record it is important to know about the fakes, the lies, the mistakes, to be able to see them, to understand that what we read may not be true. I hope they realize that if they expunge them they force reliance on microfilm for the true record. In erasing, they electronically falsify(not correct, but corrupt) the record of this period. We have enough right now of the federal government changing and deleting materials from public access in the name of security or ideology. We should not also have the public record of the NY Times or any other newspaper expunged in the name of "truth". We've lost enough electronic access -through Tasini vs The New York Times for example, to make our recent history almost un-re-searchable electronically. (whomever is to blame, that is still a significant loss through deletions from the electronic record.) I hope the NY Times does not decide to destroy electronic access to our historical record. In the most technical sense the NY Times "owns" these articles and can do as they please. In the larger sense, once they are part of the public record,(something I think the Supreme Court ignored in Tasini), they are no longer exclusively theirs. It should not be a private right to destroy and falsify what was written through deletion. We have a right to access what was provided protected property status, -through copyright-even if it is in error when it comes to the record of our own times. It is just as important to read lies and know they are lies, see errors and know them, as it is to read "truth". Since the courts won't protect the historic record in electronic content systems, as they failed to do in Tasini by treating public printing as if it were private property only, it may be time for the public to demand protection of our history, protection from private actions that expunge electronic databases through political and private property processes. We may need to do it through guaranteed multiple long term e-archives removing control of electronic archiving of the public record from political and property processes. Property rights, intellectual rights, copyright, should not supersede the public right to access our own history. Published, electronic-access articles have become an integral part of that history. Chuck Hamaker Excerpt from the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/11/national/11PAPE.html NY TIMES electronic edition 5/11/2003 Times Reporter Who Resigned Leaves Long Trail of Deception this article was reported and written by Dan Barry, David Barstow, Jonathan D. Glater, Adam Liptak and Jacques Steinberg. Research support was provided by Alain Delaqu�ri�re and Carolyn Wilder. A staff reporter for The New York Times committed frequent acts of journalistic fraud while covering significant news events in recent months, an investigation by Times journalists has found. The widespread fabrication and plagiarism represent a profound betrayal of trust and a low point in the 152-year history of the newspaper. The reporter, Jayson Blair, 27, misled readers and Times colleagues with dispatches that purported to be from Maryland, Texas and other states, when often he was far away, in New York. He fabricated comments. He concocted scenes. He stole material from other newspapers and wire services. He selected details from photographs to create the impression he had been somewhere or seen someone, when he had not. And he used these techniques to write falsely about emotionally charged moments in recent history, from the deadly sniper attacks in suburban Washington to the anguish of families grieving for loved ones killed in Iraq. In an inquiry focused on correcting the record and explaining how such fraud could have been sustained within the ranks of The New York Times, the Times journalists have so far uncovered new problems in at least 36 of the 73 articles Mr. Blair wrote since he started getting national reporting assignments late last October. .... Mr. Blair, who has resigned from the paper, was a reporter at The Times for nearly four years, and he was prolific. Spot checks of the more than 600 articles he wrote before October have found other apparent fabrications, and that inquiry continues. The Times is asking readers to report any additional falsehoods in Mr. Blair's work; the e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. ...