Monday, March 14, 2011

New York Times: the Internet has usurped the primacy of the printing press

The first paragraph of a New York Times story on the zu Guttenberg plagiarism matter states:

A plagiarism scandal cost Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg his job as defense minister of Germany. It also laid bare a scramble for influence in the German news media in the post-Gutenberg era, in which the Internet has usurped the primacy of the printing press.

By the end of paragraph 3, the story is neither about the internet nor about zu Guttenberg, but rather about Spiegel vs. Bild.

By page 2, the word "trademark" appears:

Bild struck back quickly, displaying the flair for publicity that is a trademark of what Germans call “boulevard” newspapers.


Diekmann of Bild was quoted: "We are a strong brand, we are influential, we have big headlines, we are the market leader, so it’s natural that we would get watched by other journalists.”

Later, on page 2, there is mention of Süddeutsche Zeitung and the zu Guttenberg story.

The story ends with a quote and a punchline: “You have to have someone from the elite papers who does the story, but then the Internet has to come in, in order to bring someone down so quickly.”

Zu Guttenberg, who plagiarized his Ph.D. thesis, resigned rather quickly. At SIU, Glenn Poshard, who also plagiarized this Ph.D. thesis, remains, having been found only to have inadvertently plagiarized.


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