Skip to comments.The Citizen-Journalist's Guide to Copyright and Fair Use on the Internet
Posted on 11/21/2010 2:31:16 PM PST by Nachum
The libertarian position on intellectual property that is most commonly recited is perhaps the most extreme: the outright abolition of copyright as a relic of the past. Though certainly dramatic and not without some merit, the absence of some sort of copyright protection for creators reeks a little too much of Marxist collectivism by denying, if not vilifying, the profit motive. Hence, a more prudent reconciliation between Article I and Amendment I is in order. (Snip) It is the position of this paper to favor the freedom to express any idea over the exclusive right to reproduce an expression claimed.
(Excerpt) Read more at danko.blogtownhall.com ...
International News Service v. Associated Press
I always have qualms when someone excerpts an article, because I want to select my own excerpts from the original. FR tends to chew up and spit out lots of articles; by the time FReepers get through with an article nothing may remain of it.
I’m gonna put this excerpt of the textbook I’m reading here.
Interpretive Reporting (seventh edition) Curtis D. MacDougall
Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., New York, 1977
Chapter 9 Giving it Substance
Growth of Interpretation
Today, the debate is virtually over, with only a few still arguing against the necessity for interpretive reporting. This means that to become more than a humdrum journeyman the future reporter must prepare himself to help meet the increasing need and demand for subsurface or depth reporting to take the reader behind the scenes of days action, relate the news to the readers own framework and experience, make sense out of the facts, put factual news in perspective, put meaning into the news, point up the significance of current events, and so on, to use the expression of various authorities.
Foremost defender of interpretive reporting against its critics has been Lester Markel, longtime associate editor of The New York Times, who wrote:
Those who object to interpretation say that a story should be confined to the facts. I ask, What facts? And I discover that there is in reality no such thing as objective article in sense that these objectors use it or in any sense, for that matter.
Take the most objective of reporters. He collects fifty facts; out of these fifty he selects twelve which he considers important enough to include in his piece, leaving out thirty-eight. This is the first exercise of judgment.
Then the reporter decides which of these twelve facts shall constitute the lead of the story. The particular fact he chooses gets the emphasis which is important because often the reader does not go beyond the first paragraph. This is the second exercise of judgment.
Then the editor reads the so-called objective story and makes a decision as to whether it is to be played on page 1 or on page 29. If it is played on page 1 it may have considerable impact on opinion. If it is put on page 29 it has no such emphasis. The most important editorial decision on any paper, I believe, is what goes on page 1. This is the third exercise of judgment.
In brief, this objective news is, in it exponents own terms, very un-objective, and the kind of judgment required for interpretation is no different from the kind of judgment involved in the selection of the facts for a so-called factual story and in the display of that story.
In other words, just as the Constitution is said to mean what the Supreme Court says it means, so is news what newspapers and other media of communication decide it to be.
The Interpretive Viewpoint
In gathering information about a news event, the reporter seeks answers to the who, what, where, when, why and how of whatever happened. Of these, the first four are basic to virtually any news account. The emphasis that they should receive under different circumstances was discussed in Chapter 3. Offhand, it might be held that not all stories have why or how element important enough to engage much of the news-gatherers attention. Actually, exactly the contrary is the case. In delving into the what of most stories, the reporter is really asking why? even though the answers he receives may become part of the what. The beginning journalist should be aware that whenever he does a thorough job of interviewing for what may seem to be a minor or simple story, he is training himself for more penetrating assignments in the future. He is developing an attitude or frame of mind toward newsgathering.
A typical defense of interpretative reporting by Lester Markel follows:
Interpretation, as I see it, is the deeper sense of the news. It places a particular event in the larger flow of events. It is the color, the atmosphere, the human element that give meaning to a fact. It is, in short, setting, sequence, and, above all, significance.
There is a vast difference between interpretation and opinion. And the distinction is of the utmost importance. Three elements, not two, are involved in the debate; first, new; second, interpretation; third, opinion. To take primitive example:
To say that Senator McThing is investigating the teaching of Patagonian in the schools is news.
To explain why Senator McThing is carrying on this investigation is interpretation.
To remark that Senator McThing should be ashamed is opinion.
Interpretation is an objective judgment based on background knowledge of a situation, appraisal of an event. Editorial judgment, on the other hand, is a subjective judgment; it may include an appraisal of the facts but there is an additional and distinctive element, namely emotional impact.
Opinion should be confined, almost religiously, to the editorial page; interpretation is an essential part of the news. This is vital and cannot have too much emphasis.
I see no difference between interpretation and background. Of course, part of interpretation may be the setting out of some antecedent facts and this many editors consider background as distinguished from interpretation. But interpretation is much more that shirttail material; it is an addition to the presentation of the pertinent fact, present and past, an effort to assay the meaning of those facts.
There is a vast difference between interpretation and opinion. And the distinction is of the utmost importance. Three elements, not two, are involved in the debate; first, new[s]; second, interpretation; third, opinion.
To take primitive example:To say that Senator McThing is investigating the teaching of Patagonian in the schools is news. To explain why Senator McThing is carrying on this investigation is interpretation. To remark that Senator McThing should be ashamed is opinion.
The difference between "interpretation" and "opinion" is mooted by the fact that, as noted above, the fact "that Senator McThing is investigating the teaching of Patagonian in the schools" is news ONLY IF THE REPORTER AND EDITOR SAY IT IS. If they don't say it's news, they are implicitly saying that "it's just about sex" (if Senator McThing is a Democrat) or "no matter how virtuous Senator McThing may be in investigating this terrible outrage, it doesn't balance the fact that McThing is an evil Republican - and a black one, at that."
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