Re: [DNS] List members

Re: [DNS] List members

From: Anthony Baxter <arb§>
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 1998 01:36:42 +1000
(an aside: can "reply to list" _please_ be turned off? If someone 
on this list can't figure out the difference between 'reply to sender'
and 'reply to list', too bad. reply to list is annoying.)

>>> Boz Cappie wrote
> internet. Including this discussion list. And, sometimes, we have to admit,
> there may be problems with this discussion list and the implications of the
> discussion. And, sometimes (just sometimes), it takes someone outside the
> group, such as a journalist, to observe and critique that there may be
> something problematic about the way a 'private' group of people discuss the
> future of what is essentially a public resource.

And there is nothing wrong with a journo sending a message to the list
saying "hey, I think this is an issue". What people _are_ saying they 
don't want is to have postings that they make extracted and turned into
some sort of mainstream media article. There are potentially a number of 
reasons for this:

    Such extraction and reposting of a message, without the context of the
rest of the discussion, may not convey a fair and accurate picture. Worse
yet is the risk of the article getting it wrong - people posting here should
NOT have to worry that they might be selectively quoted for a quick beatup.

    The original poster of the message may work for a large organisation
who considers that it is only their senior management who can/should make
public pronouncements. That would then mean that this list could lose the
participation of many of the people who have the most to contribute to the
discussion, and that any further discussion _would_ happen on closed lists,
with far less input. I can't see how this would be a good outcome.

> So, I know that you'll say that journalists can use material discussed on
> this list "with permission", but, hey, if all journalists had to get
> permission to follow up leads, then we'd have a pretty sad and sorry
> society, wouldn't we?. 

I'm sorry, I don't see the issue here. Are you saying that making journos
actually ring someone up on the phone and ask for comments about an issue
is too much to expect? Gee, here I was thinking that was "research".

> Do we really want to create a greater problem for members of the list by
> denying true 'public' dissemination of this stuff? Because, you know, it's
> funny, but - journalists are more attracted to secrecy and closed worlds
> than to open discussion. Worth thinking about.

Oh please. 
> If people on this list really have a major problem with the nature of
> public scrutiny, and the fact that these discussions may be open to public
> scrutiny, then perhaps you should set up your own *private* discussion
> list, where no-one, but yourselves and exclusive invited parties, will have
> the opportunity to discuss and comment on what could, and is likely to,
> become public policy. See how the journalists like that.

Or they could simply set up a list where the rules of the list say
  This article is not to be reproduced or quoted beyond this forum without
  express permission of the author.  You don't know who really wrote it.
If you don't like the house rules, don't subscribe.

> The final question is: This is public policy we're talking about - are we
> so ashamed of what we say that we want it kept secret? 

Who's saying it's being kept secret? Anyone who has a genuine interest
in these matters can subscribe easily (information about the list
was fairly widely disseminated) and will soon be able to read the list

Received on Wed Jun 24 1998 - 23:36:45 UTC

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