abatefr at EARTHLINK.NET
Wed Jul 17 14:15:46 UTC 2002
Joanne Despres said:
I (and I'm sure others on this list) can vouch for Rick Kennerly's
statement that pen-and-ink writers do quite a lot of reshaping and
re-contextualizing of original statements. One Monday morning I
was very surprised to learn from a colleague that I'd been quoted in
William Safire's column the previous day. Turned out he'd quoted
from a post I wrote to this list! The way the column read, though,
it sounded for all the world as though he'd talked to me. Not only
that, but he went on, after quoting the fact reported in the posting,
to make exactly the opposite argument to the one that I was trying
to prove with that fact. (The gist of my argument was passed over
The issue in question wasn't all that important, and I didn't mind
being quoted, but the experience shed some very interesting light
on journalistic practices.
The practices of some, but not all journalists. It seems to me totally
inappropriate to "quote" someone that has not been directly been contacted
by somebody involved with the publication, article, or (in the case of
broadcast media) program.
What should have been done, at least, is to ask your permission to use
something you posted, and whether it would be OK to use your name in
connection with it. Not that you "own" what is posted to a listserv, but it
is simply discourteous if not unethical to do what Joanne describes.
It's often nice to be mentioned in the press as an authority or source, but
not at all right to not know it has happened.
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