Bunyip pings Gittins

The Professor emails* a comparison between Ross Gittins’ latest op-ed and the OECD report he is reporting on. It is not pretty. First Bunyip draws our attention to some direct quotes that fail to include quotation marks. I have tabulated some of the more obvious and longer examples.

Then Bunyip points to a number of close paraphrases (shown in italics, the bits underscored are direct quotes).

Without policy action, the world economy in 2050 is projected to be four times bigger than it is todayusing about 80 per cent more energy. At the global level the energy mix would be little different from what it is today, with fossil fuels accounting for about 85 per cent, renewables 10 per cent and nuclear 5 per cent.

More than 40 per cent of the world’s population would be living in water-stressed areasEnvironmental flows would be contested, putting ecosystems at risk, and groundwater depletion may become the greatest threat to agriculture and urban water supplies. About 1.4 billion people are projected to still be without basic sanitation.

Urban air pollution would become the top environmental cause of premature deathWith growing transport and industrial air emissions, the number of premature deaths linked to airborne particulate matter would more than double to 3.6 million a year, mainly in China and India.

With no policy change, continued degradation and erosion of natural environmental capital could be expected, ”with the risk of irreversible changes that could endanger two centuries of rising living standards”. For openers, the cost of inaction on climate change could lead to a permanent loss of more than 14 per cent in average world consumption per person.

As the Professor says,

What you will notice, as did I, is that most of his learned analysis is barely re-written from the original, much of it reproduced without the benefit of quotation marks. Where he has written something original, he has introduced an error that, just coincidentally, boosts his alarmist case. … The first three paragraphs of his column, along with the final two … appear to be original. Count in the attributed quotes and virtually nothing of the column’s meat is his own work.

While I am sympathetic to the fact that the media operate under intense pressures to fill space and time, and start each day from scratch, this is not a good effort.

* He is on the road and unable to blog.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

59 Responses to Bunyip pings Gittins

  1. Rabz

    Joy – fauxfacts has a new alan shamsey*!

    *laura shamsey-tingles hubbie…

  2. dover_beach

    He should be sacked.

  3. C.L.

    While I am sympathetic to the fact that the media operate under intense pressures to fill space and time…

    Oh please.

    Gittens has to bang out one column of a few hundred words every three days or so.

    He’s simply a lazy slob.

  4. Sinclair Davidson

    CL – did I not say this is not a good effort?

  5. Jacques Chester

    This promises to be a decent stoush.

  6. Mother Hubbard's Dog

    You can take the “E” out of OECD, but you can’t take the “Git” out of Gittins.

  7. ar

    That is way more of Gittins than I would normally read…

  8. Token

    Does the Git share a computer with A-Dill Horan? Obviously they are peers with great respect for each other work and journalistic methods.

    A-Dill is the queen of providing articles where the number of accidental coincidences between her source and her article meet this level.

  9. twostix

    Ooooh Media Watch will be all over this!

  10. C.L.

    You did indeed, Sinclair.

    I was mocking the idea of the busy columnist – which will undoubtedly be Gittens’ excuse.

    If you can’t write a couple of original columns a week, you really ought to be sacked. It’s not hard.

  11. Rococo Liberal

    This is a case for Bob Brown to get all huffy about: a jounalist has broken the code of ethics; quick get the new Media Austhority on to him!

  12. JamesK

    Gittins is a shonk with a condescending attitude based merely on associates in high places and mistakenly believes that as the use him they therefore also respect him.

    Silly ‘ol fart

  13. johno

    Ooooh Media Watch will be all over this!

    Really!

    When did Gittens become a Murdoch press conservative?

  14. Gab

    Really!

    When did Gittens become a Murdoch press conservative?

    Or a climate sceptic?

  15. Rococo Liberal

    Come, come Gab and johno, don’t you think that Mr Holmes is perfectly even-handed, just like the rest of the ABC which is the most trustworthy media outlet according to the Finkwit.

  16. The questions of the exact number of quotation marks, and the degree to which one is allowed to paraphrase a report that one is openly summarising in one’s column are, I know, much more important issues than what the report is actually talking about – challenges to feeding and improving the lot of an increasing population under a highly uncertain future of climate change and associated environmental dangers, and I congratulate Professor B on getting his priorities right.

  17. JC

    Is this a job for the Finkelsteinian Truth Court?

  18. dover_beach

    So, the moral dilemma here for Gittens was, on the one hand, saving our children’s children, or appropriately quoting and paraphasing an OECD, but he could not do both. Thanks for the explanation, Steve from B.

  19. Token

    SoB endoreses the methodology and accuracy of the Git as it meets the dizzy heights of the IPCC documents he reveres.

  20. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Economic growth – tick
    Increasing urbanisation – tick
    Emergence of BRIICS – tick
    Tipping Points and Major Temp Rises – fail

    Please take these points, as amended, Ross Gittens and write an article of your own about them. Matt Ridley may be able to help you with your analysis.

    Hiya Professor Bunyip. How come you are reading Gittens on your holiday?
    But well caught anyway.

  21. Gab

    RL, Media outlet? Media? No, Ms Holmes is the reincarnation of Hedda Hopper.

  22. areff

    Steve, you are an idiot. If the issues are important, Gittens should have expanded on them. If journalism is important, it is important for journalists do journalism. This isn’t journalism. As I said, you’re an idiot. And so is Fairfax for looking the other way while their top writers do stuff like this. Did I mention you are an idiot?

  23. JamesK

    Is this a job for the Finkelsteinian Truth Court?

    For steve’s, the OECD or the Git’s assault on originality or for steve’s, the OECD or the Git’s usual assault on truth?

  24. Infidel Tiger

    What’s this stenography gig pay?

    Looks dead easy.

  25. JC

    For steve’s, the OECD or the Git’s assault on originality or for steve’s, the OECD or the Git’s usual assault on truth?

    Throw them all fuckers in there as see how see how they fly.

    I’ve actually never seen Stepford step so low. This is the lowest he’s ever go to.

  26. badm0f0

    The paraphrasing may be fairly lazy but the attribution and structure make it pretty clear he is directly referencing the contents of the report. Each of the identified quotes is the conclusion to the preceding paraphrased summary.

  27. Gab

    Excellent. Thanks for clearing that up, Mr badm0f0.

  28. JC

    Bado;

    Lets get one thing straight. He applies quotations for attribution. However no one has a problem with that. It’s the stuff that isn’t in quotations and changed around a little to make it appear his own that is the problem.

    God you’re an idiot sometimes.

  29. badm0f0

    No, thanks for your stirling contributions. They really help fill out the last few seconds of a spare minute.

  30. JC

    Stepford channels Homer and succeeds.

    lol

    The questions of the exact number of quotation marks, and the degree to which one is allowed to paraphrase a report that one is openly summarising in one’s column are, I know, much more important issues than what the report is actually talking about – challenges to feeding and improving the lot of an increasing population under a highly uncertain future of climate change and associated environmental dangers, and I congratulate Professor B on getting his priorities right.

  31. badm0f0

    It’s the stuff that isn’t in quotations and changed around a little to make it appear his own that is the problem.

    It’s called paraphrasing – which you’ll notice I called lazy – and the (identified) direct quotes make it obvious that’s what it is.

  32. JC

    It’s called paraphrasing –

    Bullshit it is. It may be to you and me who have no professional responsibility to adhere to standards (albeit mine of course are multiples higher than yours), but it isn’t just paraphrasing to a fucking journalist like the Git. It’s a serious allegation of plagiarism and therefore a breach of professional you ding bat. In a future world this could get the Gitster fronting Finkeltien’s star Chamber for truth and the Australian way.

    Go take a look at the abominable Lambert blog and search for the threads with numerous accusations against a statistician by the name of Wegman enumerating claims by Lambert(the lancet Death count expert and fame) and the guest posts by the fellow lunatic and airhead John Mashey getting stuck into Wegman for plagiarism.

    The Gitster seems to be responsible for eggsactly the same sins.

  33. JC

    oops… professional standards.

  34. blogstrop

    Gittins has been channelling Dr Pangloss for quite a while. He’s a worry.

  35. blogstrop

    I meant when it comes to our economy – he’s always saying it’s fine!

  36. badm0f0

    It’s a serious allegation of plagiarism and therefore a breach of professional you ding bat.

    No it isn’t, regardless of how hyperbolic you become or how ignorant you are of journalistic convention. The paraphrasing is very lazy but the report is structured with direct quotes that make it obvious to anyone other than the willfully stupid that he is summarising the content of the report. Each of the quotes directly relate to the preceding summary – the quotes only make sense in the context of the preceding paragraphs.

  37. lotocoti

    If it was the horoscope person, I’m happy to cut them a little slack for some rip’n’read, for a specialist editor, not so much.

  38. Jc

    Why the need for paraphrasing, bado, you ignorant leftwing trollope?

    If there are direct quotes in there why the need to jumble the rest around to make it appear as his own thoughts?

    Your expectations of such low standards don’t present you in a good light. Remnd me never to lend ou the bus fair home as I’m sure I won’t be getting it back.

  39. areff

    The SMH has a readers editor, Judith Prisk, whose job it is to sweep stuff like this under the rug investigate. Here’s her email address,

    [email protected]

    I just dropped her a line. Maybe a few more notes will mean she actually has to do something.

    Speaking as an old journo, I got to tell ya’, this would have been a firing offence at fairfax in my day.

  40. badm0f0

    If there are direct quotes in there why the need to jumble the rest around to make it appear as his own thoughts?

    It doesn’t “appear as his own” thoughts other than to an idiot like you. That your standards of comprehension are so low doesn’t present you in a good light. Remind me never to lend you the bus timetable as I’m sure you’d probably eat it.

  41. Jc

    Speaking as an old journo, I got to tell ya’, this would have been a firing offence at fairfax in my day.

    You get fast tracked promotion over there now for this sort of stuff.

  42. areff

    Ain’t that the truth, JC. Reckon they hired Jessica Irvine to make Gittens look good by comparison.

  43. H B Bear

    To the Finkmobile….

  44. dover_beach

    Interesting argument, badm0fo; so Gitten’s opinion piece wasn’t an opinion piece per se, it was merely the summary of a report passed off as an opinion piece. Thanks, that gets Gittens of the hook, I suppose.

  45. Token

    Compare and contrast:

    Love media standard as endorsed by Sob & M0f0 – The Git rips the OECD report

    Hate media standard – Paul Kelly reviews the Garnaut report

    In every paragraph Kelly ensures the reader knows which section is from Garnauts report.

    Reading Garnauts report…
    Garnaut rejects…

  46. d-b, badmOfO’s take on it is exactly right. The piece is clearly set out to be a summary of the report, with the sequence being:

    paraphrase
    paraphrase
    so what does the report say?
    quote

    The paraphrases are pretty close to the original.

    Big deal. A bit of a an easy column for him; but big deal. There is no deception involved.

  47. pete m

    SoB should mark uni papers for Arts degrees.

  48. GregJ

    Don’t want to be overly serious about this, but this really is inexcusable. His employment should be terminated, or at the least he should be given a few months off to “spend time with his family” and reflect on things for a while.

  49. dover_beach

    d-b, badmOfO’s take on it is exactly right…The paraphrases are pretty close to the original. Big deal. A bit of a an easy column for him; but big deal. There is no deception involved.

    Sorry, but opinion pieces are not summaries, so you and he are quite wrong.

  50. Bronson

    Attribution is a basic undergraduate learning, changing a few words in somebody elses work and presenting it as your own is not analysis, it is not summarising neither is it professional nor paraphrasing. It is plagarism and would get an undergraduate carpeted. Gittins is supposedly a professional he should act like one.

  51. Tom

    Gittens is a lazy Keynesian who has decided he can pump out his obligatory midweek opinion piece in under two hours by transcribing an OECD report by another discredited Keynesian deep in the socialist EC bunker in Paris. Plays well to the unemployed Occupy yoof, who are the only technical humans who still read Fairfax’s OpEd fashion pages.

    [Small edits. Sinc]

  52. observa

    so what does the report say?

    asks Steve of Brisbane?

    Well I’ll let the man himself explain it to you-

    “Do you ever wonder…? I do. And it’s not a comforting thought.

    But now that reputable and highly orthodox outfit the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has attempted to think it through systematically…

    It’s not possible to know what the future holds, of course, and such modelling – economic or scientific – is a highly imperfect way of making predictions. Even so, some idea is better than no idea. It’s possible the organisation’s projections are….??”

    anything that pops into their wondrous heads by all accounts, but remember folks any idea is better than no idea.

    Is it any wonder they’re such a restless, shambolic lot just ripe for some demagogue to lead around by the ear?

  53. Bob of gulf point s

    It would be better for Fairfax readers were he to continue paraphrasing OECD reports. On his own his default position is, put up taxes, more government regulation, less market, less wealth. Sorry it’s the same stuff either way. As you were.

  54. phillipe

    Milli-Vanilli

    Old44

    Shortest destruction job I’ve seen for some time.

  55. ar

    The problem Gittins doing a C&P would pale into insignificance compared to the other problems they have to deal with

  56. Coconut

    A message to the great Bunyip. Get away from your fishing and camping and back to work on your blog. Your country needs you.

  57. There is, however, a revelation in Gittins’ original stuff:
    It’s not possible to know what the future holds, of course, and such modelling – economic or scientific – is a highly imperfect way of making predictions.
    Isn’t that what sceptics have been saying all along?

  58. David Brewer

    The OECD modelling is an alarmist joke anyway.

    Cop this classic (page 4 of their summary): Global emissions of greenhouse gases are projected to grow by a further 37%, and 52% to 2050 (Figure 3a). This could result in an increase in global temperature over pre-industrial levels in the range of 1.7-2.4° Celsius by 2050.

    That is more than double the rate predicted even by the IPCC (0.2 degrees per decade, see here page 5), and more than double the total warming over the past century (page 6). And in the real world, temperature rise has been slowing down for the last 15 years, and is below the IPCC projections.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *