Talk:Springer (killer whale)

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Archive 1 December 26 2009

Archive 2 December 30 2009

Conflict of interest issues[edit]

Past discussions on COI w.r.t. this article are archived at the links above.

Please familiarize yourself with relevant policies and guidelines, especially those pertaining to neutral point of view, verifiability of information, and autobiographies.

For information on how to contribute to Wikipedia when you have a conflict of interest, please see our frequently asked questions for organizations

Clayoquot (talk | contribs) 17:51, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Baseline version of the article to work on[edit]

Hi everyone,

I did three hours of work on the article over the weekend that was entirely reverted on Monday. I'm not at all happy about that, as you can imagine, and I also think that the current version of the article is not the best baseline to move forward on. Here are some recent milestones:

1. November 26, 2009 - The version that existed before user:Babywildfilms started editing. This is essentially the version that was linked to from the "This day in history" section on the Wikipedia Main page.

2. December 10, 2009 - The version after Babywildfilms finished making additions.

3. December 15, 2009 - After some cleanup from me, and a COI tag, but substantially the same version as on December 10

4. December 23, 2009 - After some edits and references by Mrjoshuawells, still substantially the same version as on December 10.

5. December 26, 2009 - After three hours of work by me in which I went through the article paragraph-by-paragraph, tightening prose, removing press-release-type statements, fixing style issues, and painstakingly copying whatever I cut to the Talk page. After all this I felt the article still needed a COI tag, but was planning to keep editing until the COI tag was no longer necessary.

6. December 28, 2009 - Reversion back to the December 23 version.

7. December 30, 2009 - The December 23 version, plus some good edits made today by Mrjoshuawells.

I propose that we do the following:

  • Restore the November 26 version of the article
  • Add uncontentious material to it from the December 26 version, and don't add a COI tag.
  • Copy any contentious sections to Talk:Springer (orca)/Sandbox and work on the sandbox together until we have a consensus version that we can copy into the article without a COI tag. I agree that the November 26 version should be expanded to cover more of the back-story from the spring of 2002. The questions of what sources to use for that, how much weight to give to different points of view, and how to write it in an encyclopedic style will take some time to sort out.

What do you all think? Clayoquot (talk | contribs) 07:45, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Okay because i am lazy give me the rundown on what the issue is and what COI is taking place??. ZooPro 08:32, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
I have had a look and will let you know of my opinion shortly. ZooPro 08:43, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Tweaking the current version, I've noticed the prose even in the November 26 version is what I have been tweaking and removing redundancies. I hate it when paras move so that the whole text goes red and it is hard to compare versions directly. Rather than wholesale revert, maybe doing it section by section (sigh.....) Casliber (talk · contribs) 19:53, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Article issues[edit]

Hi everyone,

I've put a request at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Cetaceans for community input on this article, and I'll also be leaving similar requests at Talk:Killer Whale, Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard, and Wikipedia:Conflict of interest/Noticeboard.

Here are some issues that I think need to be addressed:

1. Whether to revert to a previous version of the article to use as a baseline: See the above section for a proposal.

2.TV news programs as sources, e.g. "Orca Coalition Sees Hope For Ecosystem," KOMO 4 News (ABC Seattle), June 12, 2002". Does this meet WP:V and WP:RS?

In my opinion, yes if there is a reasonable way to see the program in question (e.g. http://www.orcaconservancy.org/ has some archived clips), but not otherwise. I'm not sure about the copyright status of those video clips on the Orca Conservancy site either. Lots of high-quality published print sources exist as an alternative.

3. For what kinds of information is ""THE SPRINGER FILE," Orca Conservancy" a reliable source?

My opinion: Not much. It reads as an advocacy piece by an advocacy organization, and a lot of it isn't about Springer. Much of it looks like it might be a copyright violation. And it uses this article on Wikipedia as a source, uh-oh ;)

4. A style issue throughout the new content is that it frequently mentions what TV stations and programs reported something. There is an emphasis on who-was-on-TV that I've never seen elsewhere on Wikipedia.

I would much rather have "person x said y" followed by a footnote to the source than "person x said y on KING 5 News (NBC Seattle)" followed by a footnote to the source.

Clayoquot (talk | contribs) 08:52, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mammals has also been notified, and I've asked User:Casliber for his input. Clayoquot (talk | contribs) 07:28, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

"For any new editors reading, this essay at User:Tony1/How to improve your writing is worth reading as a heads up on creating crisp clear prose. Casliber (talk · contribs) 19:25, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Would children's book rate mention?[edit]

Would this children's book rate mention in the article? I have no firm opinion either way. - Jmabel | Talk 19:44, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Yes, totally. Clayoquot (talk | contribs) 22:47, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

My Input[edit]

I will agree with Clayoquot's assessment of the issues with the article however i dont think reverting it to a clean slate will really do anyone much good, i would consider just cleaning it up and removing un-neccesary stuff like the Tv stations and the like. I would however like to see more neutral sources, In regards to the "Springer File" source get rid of that it uses wikipedia as its source and therefore isnt reliable nor does it have a NPV. In regards to point 4 of Clayoquot's assessment you are correct in that it is an issue and your "solution" is infact part of the MOS. Hope this helps. ZooPro 07:21, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks ZooPro and Cas for your comments. I've had a very busy past few days and haven't been able to move this further along. Could you please comment on the use of television programs as reliable sources of information, i.e. in footnotes? There are video clips on the Orca Conservancy website used as sources, that we probably cannot link to because they are copyrighted works and that website does not appear to have permission to host them. Clayoquot (talk | contribs) 17:42, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, busy here too. TV programs are used as references elsewhere. I guess the issue is avoiding having the majority of refs from primary sources and especially no controversial ones. The thing here would be to somehow find more secondary. I still haven't read through to the bottom yet myself. Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:18, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
PS: It is actually quite an interesting read with all the bureaucracy. Was it really on the news so much over there? (We didn't have much here) If so, newspapers might be the best way to source much of it, and it might require a visit to the library...Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:35, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it was on the news a lot, and well-covered in newspapers too. The book by Francis and Hewlett is probably the best overall source though. I have the book. Can you point us to some examples of articles that use TV programs as references? I don't even know what format to use. Cheers, Clayoquot (talk | contribs) 10:06, 10 January 2010 (UTC)


Hi All... Back online for this discussion, and hoping we can keep moving it downstream (it's been a really cool process, by the way, my first foray into Wikipedia editing!). I had a couple quick thoughts...
First of all, I agree that citing television news as references is appropriate, particularly here in the U.S. where we've had so many newspaper and other print resources disappear. Sadly (in my opinion), most people here in the States get their news from television. That being said, none of the television news sources I cited is considered "controversial." With the exception of I think one CNN citation, almost all are major network affiliates; i.e., ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX -- the latter a Seattle, WA affiliate and NOT to be confused with FOX News Channel, which is widely considered (and was called out a few months back by the White House) as basically a mouthpiece for the Republican Party here. The Seattle-Tacoma market is also thought to be one of the most prolific and highly-regarded of all the television news markets in the U.S., with the ABC affiliate here recently honored as the best TV newscast in the nation. Certainly the network affiliates here produce more news content than anywhere in the country -- I believe seven stations produce daily news here. And almost all of these TV stations also publish accompanying print pieces on their websites, so these citations could also be considered "New Media," or online journalism.
I also agree with Clayoquot that TV news here was all over this Springer story, as well as the Luna story. In fact, some thought they were covering these orca stories TOO much (a few local columnists and radio personalities were particularly critical). On the other hand, I understand that these were some of the highest-rated broadcasts in the 50-some years the stations have been doing newscasts here. The national and international TV coverage it spurred also indicates that people around the world were captivated by these sagas, not just in this region. So again, I would concur that citing TV news sources in appropriate, and I would argue, unavoidable.
I also found "Operation Orca" by Francis and Hewlitt as very authoritative, and I cited it several times in both the Springer and Luna articles I contributed to. To my knowledge, this is the ONLY non-fiction book to truly do a thorough, journalistically objective treatment of these orca efforts. From what I know, they did a great job covering these complex and, yes, extremely bureaucratic stories from the ground up, recounting the behind-the-scene battles and human foibles on both sides, and yet still preserving the magic, transendent aspects that would later find their way onto the pages of so many children's books.
I've also found the "Springer File" and the "Luna File" news archives on the Orca Conservancy website as being quite helpful -- although both admittedly have extensive commentary by members of the organization and as such may not qualify as a traditional and acceptable Wikipedia source to cite. That being said, from investigation it appears that all of the commentary is thoroughly backed up by either print or broadcast news reports, or by other proximate materials. I'm confident that everything I cite from these sources is verifiable, and I think quite interesting. I also know, from a little searching, that many of these non-government organizations actually had a direct working relationship at one time or another with government agencies in U.S. and Canada, and as such, everything they did in that capacity was necessarily of public record (i.e., the "Orphaned Orca Fund," the coalition of seven NGOs that sourced the matching funds to the federal Prescott Marine Mammal grant that paid for the Springer project). So in that sense, when these non-profits officially worked in tandem with the feds, everything they did had to be well-documented and transparent, which arguably makes their statements citable and verifiable.
(There was also a concern raised by one of the editors about copyright violations on the Springer and Luna Files, and in fact, I understand that this isn't the case; in the U.S., we have something called "Fair Use," which provides some latitude in various contexts to reproduce and disseminate otherwise-copyrighted news material; also, I'm not aware of any non-profit organization being sued for reprinting news articles or repurposing television news reports. So I think they're OK doing this.)
After absorbing all the helpful comments everyone has made on these Wikipedia articles, I've tried to go back in several times to address reasonable concerns and move this toward consensus. It seems like we're close! I would ask that we endeavor to finally resolve this in the next few days, and then move on to other things. It would be great if Clayoquot and others participating in this talk could review both of these articles one last time, after my newest edits, and see if they meet the muster of verifiable content. I honestly believe that we've collectively done a great job creating an extremely useful, authoritative and encyclopedic treatment of both of these orca events here in the Pacific Northwest -- far more so than what was previously submitted.
Sound like a plan? Thanks again. Mrjoshuawells (talk) 20:41, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
Hi, I'll be happy to look at both articles again. This week is really busy for me but I'll try to get to it within a week or so. Thanks for asking. Cheers, Clayoquot (talk | contribs) 05:25, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
I've started looking at this article and how it is sourced. It is sounding less fluffy than before, which is good. However, I must say that I am as concerned about it as I ever have been. The 154-page Springer File document on the orcaconservancy.org has some articles from the mainstream press that seem reliable. Mainstream press articles are generally good sources. However, the parts of the Springer file that are original pieces written by Orca Conservancy are extremely problematic as a Wikipedia source. I believe it is a good example of what we call a questionable source, and presents an obviously biased point of view about some of the individuals and organizations involved in the Springer back-story. I do not believe that Orca Conservancy's document that includes the section titled "OC TIMELINE: ”THE EVIL DR. NIGHTINGALE” is a good basis for describing the interactions between Orca Conservancy and Dr. Nightingales' organization, the Vancouver Aquarium. Especially not when two of the editors who have contributed this content are clearly associated with raising positive awareness about Orca Conservancy/Michael Harris. I'll write more later. Clayoquot (talk | contribs) 00:19, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Definitely a biased source which makes it an unreliable source, as far as Wikipedia is concerned. This is a subject that can easily slip into POV, and we don't want that to happen. If it's as controversially biased as you described above, Clayoquot, I think it shouldn't be referenced at all. And certainly never as a stand-alone source. --SkagitRiverQueen (talk) 00:24, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Thanks. If you can, please evaluate the source and state your own opinion on it too. Clayoquot (talk | contribs) 04:42, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
BTW here's one reason we use original news sources instead of copies on NGO websites: The Springer File contains the full text of this article, plus additions and reformatting to emphasize Orca Conservancy. E.g. "former Secretary of State Ralph Munro " becomes "former Secretary of State (and Orca Conservancy Board Member) Ralph Munro ". Clayoquot (talk | contribs) 05:47, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Orca Conservancy website and WP:Biographies of living persons[edit]

After looking more at the "Springer file" the Orca Conservancy website, I believe that linking to this website would be a violation of Wikipedia policy regarding Biographies of living persons. I have removed the URL from all 8 hyperlinks to this website. I'm trying to keep as open a mind as possible about the information that relies on Orca Conservancy as a source, but if we can't find reliable secondary sourcing for this information then it will have to go as well. I have left a notice at Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard regarding the Orca Conservancy website. Clayoquot (talk | contribs) 04:14, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Due weight and the back-story[edit]

I'm planning to start rewriting the parts of this article that deal with the debate about what to do with Springer, and about fundraising. I don't know yet how deep of a rewrite is needed, however I should explain why at this point I feel that a rewrite is needed:

  • The amount of weight given to Orca Conservancy and Free Willy/Keiko Foundation does not seem right. The Francis and Hewlett book that Mrjoshuawells and I agree is a high-quality sources devotes approximately half of a 280-page book to the Springer story. According to its index, the pages that pertain to Springer mention Orca Conservancy exactly once, Michael Harris zero times, and the Free Willy/Keiko Foundation zero times (Orca Conservancy and Michael Harris are mentioned a few times in the pages that pertain to Luna). By comparison, Ken Balcomb has five index entries, OrcaLab has eight index entries, Paul Spong has four, and Lance Barrett-Lennard has something like eighteen, and they all include index entries that span multiple pages.
  • I cannot find any secondary source that talks about the Prescott Marine Mammal fund with respect to Springer. It isn't in the index of the Francis and Hewlett book. It isn't in the Google News archive for January to June 2002 (searching for "Prescott marine mammal").[1] This doesn't mean that the story about getting Prescott funds didn't happen. What it means is that the news sources indexed by Google News did not report on it much, at all.

The sources that I plan to use for a rewrite are the Francis and Hewlett book and Google News results for "Springer orca" without quotes. If I can see a video clip of a TV program then I think it's OK to use it as well, but if no clip is available then I will consider the material that references it to not be reliably sourced. If it's notable, it will be in other sources as well: this was an extremely well-covered news story.Clayoquot (talk | contribs) 05:24, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Someone removed Blackfish Sounder references[edit]

I just discovered that someone has removed all sourcing to the Blackfish Sounder, a Vancouver Aquarium publication, that were in a previous version of the article.[2] I consider this to be vandalism. Detail from other references, such as "date retrieved" information, has also been removed for no apparent reason. Having to fix things like this bit-by-bit instead of having consensus to revert to a previous version is an enormous waste of time. Clayoquot (talk | contribs) 04:31, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Hi everyone, here is a notice that I am planning to revert the article to the state it was in last November and fill in things from there. The edits that have been made since then are a lot worse than I thought they were when I first proposed reverting. By the way, I tracked down who removed the Blackfish Sounder references, and have left a vandalism warning on the editor's talk page. Clayoquot (talk | contribs) 05:13, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm about half done. I've reverted to the November 26 version and have started to re-add content bit-by-bit from the January 23 version. It really needed to be done this way. In addition to the Blackfish Sounder references that had been removed and other references that had been watered-down, someone had also removed at least one reference to Orca Network's website and replaced it with a reference to Orca Conservancy's website. Clayoquot (talk | contribs) 10:00, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Looks a lot better, well done. Off2riorob (talk) 00:29, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

"Hundreds of thousands of dollars" for the "rescue"[edit]

That's a lot of money. Would have bough a whole lot of antibiotics, vaccines, mosquito nets, etc, in Africa.

But little picaninnies aren't as cuddly and photogenic as a whale, are they? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 97.127.176.129 (talk) 13:38, 1 May 2011 (UTC)