Talk:Media Lens/Archive 5

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References elsewhere to this article

See Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Self-references to avoid for why this article should not be refer to itself. I removed a couple of additions earlier which ignored the restrictions on including tweets contained in Identifying Reliable Sources, Verifiability and elsewhere on the policy pages. I should admit that the tweets (and a thread currently on the MLMB) refer to my edits concerning Media Lens. The conflict of interest page allows for edits by such parties where the edits could conceivably be made by any user.

I have removed a mention of Media Lens in a number of articles only where the inclusion contravenes the above policies. I added the reference in the Edward S. Herman article because there is a clear connection between them, and Herman is mentioned a number of times in this article. With the exception of the WP pieces on Donald Macintyre and Denis Halliday, I am not aware of any of these edits being reverted. Which they would have been if enough editors thought them of greater importance than myself. My removal of the reference to their criticism of Mcintyre in an alert or two has come and gone a few times in the last six months. Notable criticism of Macintyre's interview with Blair may well be around to be cited, given the low esteem in which Blair is held. If it isn't, Media Lens comments, as far as Wikipedia is concerned, are from a fringe site. Either way, bearing in mind what I noted earlier about reliable sources, removing the reference to ML is legitimate. Philip Cross (talk) 21:29, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

Pilger as a 'mainstream' "fig leaf"

In 2009 in an interview with Judith Townend for journalism.co.uk, one of the Media Lens editors commented that "[John] Pilger has described himself as a 'fig leaf' at the New Statesman." I have occasionally tried to find a reference for John Pilger describing himself in this way for a while, but without success. Interviewed by Julie Tomlin for Press Gazette ("'Media's crisis of reporting over global poverty': Pilger", 13 June 2001) by Julie Tomlin he is quoted as saying "I don't get the impression that I'm a fig leaf - I get a great deal of support."

A change of mind or conflicting comment from Pilger between 2001 and 2009 on the more specific point of his NS connection appears to be absent from any primary source (interview with JP or an article) available online. Therefore, it no longer seems that "an opinion Pilger shares" (in earlier versions of this article) can still stand. It is immaterial that Pilger and ML have a minor disagreement (making a point of this would be synthesis, as I acknowledged in the edit summary), although this is evident in the 'new' quote I use to confirm that Pilger has worked exclusively in the mainstream (or "corporate") media throughout his career. Philip Cross (talk) 19:30, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

Self-published sources

I have removed the notice in place since 21 April 2011 for the reason explained in the edit summary. User:Sleetman does not appear to have explained his own reasoning, and has been inactive since June 2011. Philip Cross (talk) 05:23, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Is this a pretext for stuffing more Kamm into the page?Keith-264 (talk) 08:12, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
No Keith, have you read my edit summary? The user (Sleetman) may have been unaware that citing material by the subject is less restrictive than for other articles. If you examine the references to Oliver Kamm's writings you will see that the only use of his pre-Times blog I have made is a re-publication by another website, in fact a American university website. In other words, someone probably unconnected with OK approved it, and the article is thus not 'self -published'. As I probably will no be forking out for a Times online subscription any time soon, you will have to hope that Rupert Murdoch does not abandon his current paywall model for the newspaper. Philip Cross (talk) 12:05, 7 March 2013 (UTC).
Come on, out with it! What about his other feculent diatribes? Keith-264 (talk) 13:31, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Is there any evidence that the Media Lens: a warning Kamm piece was ever published by the Times rather than just Tumbler which is the cited link? Dlv999 (talk) 13:35, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
The Tumbler blog is clearly linked to The Times. It uses the newspaper's trademark and its regular contracted contributors and staff writers write for it. Blogs from established 'hard copy' publications are accepted as RS. Keith writes: "What about his other feculent diatribes?" What haven't I seen? Philip Cross (talk) 14:14, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Actually the relevant policy is WP:VERIFIABILITY (Section: WP:NEWSBLOG). It states that, "Several newspapers, magazines, and other news organizations host columns on their web sites that they call blogs. These may be acceptable sources if the writers are professionals, but use them with caution because the blog may not be subject to the news organization's normal fact-checking process."
If the material under discussion was only ever published on Tumblr and not hosted on the Times website it does not appear to meet the criteria to be regarded as RS. Also the relationship between The Times newspaper and this Tumblr blog is unclear. For instance what evidence is there that the Tumblr blog is subject to The Times editorial oversight and fact checking? Dlv999 (talk) 14:44, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
See Josh Halliday's piece ("Times Opinion Tumblr launches outside paywall") in The Guardian from last June: "A spokeswoman for the Times said: 'Like many other publishers we have created a page on the blogging site Tumblr to promote some of our journalism.[...] No material that was previously paid has been made free. Our writers will simply give a short taster of what is in the Opinion section and link to other interesting opinion writing on the web.'" Nice try. Philip Cross (talk) 15:42, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Inclusion of material that does not discuss the topic of this article

I removed two sources that do not discuss the topic of this article on the basis that their is inclusion original research. The sources themselves offer no evidence that the material is relevant to the topic of this article (how can they they do not discuss the topic). The material was restored by an editor claiming that the material is "relevant to the ML clash with the Guardian" but this claim is entirely the original research of the editor in question, it is not something that is indicated by the sources.

WP:OR states that: "To demonstrate that you are not adding OR, you must be able to cite reliable, published sources that are directly related to the topic of the article," These sources do not mention the topic of the article, thus they are not directly related to the topic of the article. This is clearly OR and needs to be removed. Dlv999 (talk) 16:38, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Why don't you mention me by name? They are directly relevant to ML's clash with the Guardian and Chomsky's defence of the Johnstone book. ML, as indicated, spent a lot of time trying to debunk Brockes interview. And it wasn't accepted as problematic by people (Aaronovitch and Kamm) who are opponents of ML too. In other words the topic of this section of the article. Philip Cross (talk) 17:03, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Philip Cross, I don't mean to cause any offense here, but I am not interested in your opinion on the topic, it simply is not relevant to writing Wikipedia articles. We write articles based on what reliable sources say. WP:OR one of our core policies explicitly states that "To demonstrate that you are not adding OR, you must be able to cite reliable, published sources that are directly related to the topic of the article." For the material in question this has not been achieved because the cited sources are not directly related to the topic. This is core policy, it is non-negotiable.
This article is not about Chomsky, The Guardian, Brookes, Kamm, Aaronovich or the Johnstone book. These can only be discussed using sources that directly discuss the topic of this article and relate these topics to the topic of the article. Any links you see between the topic of our article and these other topics is irrelevant. Dlv999 (talk) 17:36, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Jonathan Cook and the "Dangerous cult of The Guardian"

My edit summary became scrambled. By all means cite Cook's piece at greater length, but it is reasonable for Monbiot's points to be made without interruption, so I moved the addition made by User:Dlv999. It is partly repetition anyway, as I had already cited "Dangerous cult" myself more briefly, so I have merged the two references. Philip Cross (talk) 17:03, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Current Issues

Current issues I see with the article are:-

  1. Some sections are over long and the titles of the sections do not accurately describe the material they contain. (A fairly minor issue that can be easily resolved, which I have already begun to address).
  2. The article relies too heavily on self published material from the organisation and blogs/op-eds from various journalists that they have disputed with. Articles should be based on "reliable, third-party, published sources". If we are talking about a dispute between ML and a Journalist(s) neither the journalist nor ML are third party. We should be looking for third party sources that attest the notability of the dispute and give us some idea of the WP:WEIGHT we should apply to each side of the dispute. Primary sources can be sued but, carefully and the article/sections should not be over reliant on them.
  3. WP:BLP: Accusations that can only be sourced to self-published articles by ML against living persons should not be included per WP:BLP. I don't think this is a major issue as they have written several books which cover the notable issues and on the notable issues their work/views is cited by third parties. Regarding BLP violations against ML, the current article also contains some outrageous claims against the Edwards as well as other living people:-
"Oliver Kamm has been blunt, Media Lens "stands with genocide deniers" in its connection with Herman and his colleague, David Peterson"
"The Times commentator Oliver Kamm, has claimed that their apparent denial of genocidal acts utilises the same methods used by Holocaust deniers such as David Irving."
The only source for these allegations is an Oliver Kamm Blog.[1] WP:BLP requires that an allegation must be noteworthy, relevant, and well-documented to be included. The standard for proving this is that multiple third party reliable sources have reported it ("If you cannot find multiple reliable third-party sources documenting the allegation or incident, leave it out.") In this case we only have one non-third party source (from someone in a longstanding ongoing dispute with those he makes the allegations against). The sourcing does not meet the required standard, and given the nature of the allegation it should be removed until it can be shown to be supported by multiple third party reliable sources. Dlv999 (talk) 13:10, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
quite agree.Keith-264 (talk) 14:58, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Absolutely, Dlv999. The Kamm-krapp should have come out long ago (it's OR, in addition to the reasons you cite). I thought about taking it out, but realised a whole lot else would need to be changed as well and my wiki time is limited for now, so I left it. Thanks for your efforts here, and elsewhere on Wikipedia. --NSH001 (talk) 17:32, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
The Kamm quotes about David Irving, Herman and Peterson appear in his Times blog, which I have already indicated is under the control of the newspaper. Their legal department would have checked this piece for potential libel. Its existence external to this website means that it cannot be considered original research. Philip Cross (talk) 19:06, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
By the nature of Media Lens' campaign, in the strict sense, "third party" sources probably do not exist. Either ML has criticised a 'corporate' journalist before they comment about ML (Beaumont) or the group and its followers do so afterwards (Michael White). Is someone going to go through the message board archive, mostly difficult to access, or the 10,000 ML tweets as well as the 'alerts' to establish out that Michael White is completely dispassionate about ML, that he had not clashed with the editors before the 2012 incident?
The rules on 'self-published' sources are more liberal when it comes to the subject of an article, and very many of the citations to ML articles are responses to their critics. Philip Cross (talk) 22:11, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Regarding sources, first and foremost we should be looking at what academic and peer-reviewed publications say about the topic, those are the sources our core policy and related guidelines say are the most reliable. Some examples would be :-

  • Boyd-Barrett, Oliver (2010). "Newspeak in the 21st Century - Book Review" (PDF). Media, War & Conflict. 3: 371. doi:10.1177/17506352100030030903. Retrieved 21/03/2013. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  • Mukhopadhyay, Swapna (2007). "How Many Deaths? Education for Statistical Empathy" (PDF). The Mathematics Enthusiast. Retrieved 22/03/2013. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help); External link in |journal= (help)
  • McQueen, David (2008). "BBC's Panorama, war coverage and the 'Westminster consensus'" (PDF). Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture. 5 (3): 47–68. Retrieved 22/03/2013. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help); External link in |journal= (help)CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  • Freedman, Des (2009). "'Smooth Operator?' The Propaganda Model and Moments of Crisis" (PDF). Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture. 6 (2): 59–72. Retrieved 22/03/2013. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help); External link in |journal= (help)CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  • Brock-Utne, Birgit (2011). Expanding Peace Journalism: Comparative and Critical Approaches. Sydney University Press. p. 86-. ISBN 1920899707.

Somewhat less than academic level sources would be something written by a professor of journalism but for a mainstream audience, in the popular press, like this:

Other third party sourcing would include factual news reports in mainstream media sources. Apart from the first source, which I have already included in the article, I don't know what these sources say about ML, and they may not all be useful for the article, but these are the kind high quality third party sources that I would expect to see as the basis for a serious encyclopedic article on a topic.

Someway down the list of sources are primary sources such as opinions and blogs especially from those who are active participants in the issues being discussed. These can be appropriate to use, but we must be careful with how we use them and to not over use them. WP:Verifiability says: "Base articles on reliable, third-party, published sources", WP:No original research says: "Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published secondary sources and, to a lesser extent, on tertiary sources." If you can't find secondary or tertiary sources discussing an aspect of the topic, then that is a good indication to us of the WP:WEIGHT we should be giving it.

I'm not just quoting policy at you for fun. I think this stuff was adopted by the community for a good reason, because it leads to high quality encyclopedia articles, I also think that if we build articles on the basis of what we have agreed in our policies and guidelines it makes it easier for editors to collaborate who may have different views on the topic. Dlv999 (talk) 12:51, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

What a breath of fresh air.Keith-264 (talk) 12:58, 22 March 2013 (UTC)