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Spot the similarity

Guy Berger's picture


Question:
Can you spot the differences below?

Answer: Only the dates and authors are different.

The excerpts come from a popular journalism textbook, Global Journalism.

They are drawn from the 3rd edition in 1995 edited by John Merrill, and compared with the 4th , edited by Merrill and Arnold de Beer.

The exercise exposes how the book has regurgitated research by one set of authors, and credited it to different authors, without update or acknowledgment of the original source.

1995: Among the oldest and freest in South Asia, the press in India is also one of the most influential in the developing world. Its growth has been phenomenal. (p. 277)

2004: The press in India is amongst the oldest and freest in South Asia. It is also one of the most influential in the developing world. Its growth has been phenomenal. (p. 353)

1995 … Despite the literacy rate of around 52 percent according to the 1991 census, the English language press plays an influential role in the in the country’s political milieu. (p. 277)

2004: …. Despite the literacy rate of around 52 percent, the English language press plays an influential role in the in the country’s political milieu. (p. 353)

1995 … The news magazines carrying investigative stories have become especially widespread over the last decades. One of the most influential is the India Today (circulation 900,000)… (p. 278)

2004 … The news magazines carrying investigative stories have become especially widespread over the last decades. One of the most influential is the India Today (circulation about 900,000)…(p. 354)

1995: … Two areas of new interest are in the fields of business magazines and technology. Business Today, Business World, the Economic Times, and Technocrat, launched fairly recently, are doing well in terms of circulations. (p. 278)

2004… Two areas of new interest are in the fields of business magazines and technology. Business Today, Business World, the Economic Times, and Technocrat, launched fairly recently, are doing well in terms of circulation. (p. 354)

1995 Bangladesh: “Today, 146 daily newspapers are published in the country” and following sentence… . “Presently, there are approximately 242 weeklies and 132 monthlies … (p. 280)

2004: Bangladesh: “Today, 146 daily newspapers are published in the country” and following sentence. “Presently, there are approximately 242 weeklies and 132 monthlies …(p. 355)

1995: Circulation of a Nepalese paper 35000 (p. 280)

2004: Circulation of a Nepalese paper 35000. (p. 355)

1995: Bhutan, with less than 1 million population, can now boast of publishing its own national newspaper. (p. 281)

2004: Bhutan, with less than 1 million population, can now boast of publishing its own national newspaper. (p. 355)

Also lifted:

1995. A sentence on Pakistan. (p. 279)
2004: A sentence on Pakistan (p. 354)

1995. Several sentences on smaller South Asian nations. (p. 279)
2004. Several sentences on smaller South Asian nations. (p. 354)

The historical highlights sections are virtually identical, though the 2004 one is shorter. The Press in the 19th century is also virtually identical, though shorter. Much is also taken over in sections on broadcasting in South East Asia and Government-Media relations.

Sources:

1995: Anju Grover Chaudhary and Anne Cooper Chen. Chapter on: Asia and the Pacific. In Global journalism. Survey of international communication. Third edition. John C Merrill (editor). Longman, USA.

2004: Jiafei Yin and Gregg Payne. Chapter on: Asia and the Pacific. In Global Journalism. Topical Issues and Media Systems. Fourth edition. A S de Beer, and J C Merrill. Pearson Inc.