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September 07, 1989 - Image 6

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-09-07

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* .4

PERSPECTIVES

{, 4 Page 6

Thursday, September 7, 1989

The Michigan Daily

-,tea

I

Prospect editors respond to

reprinted

article

by Debbie Bodin,
Elissa Sard,
Sharon Parrott,
and Ad Blumenthal
The Michigan Daily violated
copyright law in their "Orientation
Issue" when they reprinted an article
which first appeared in the March-
April issue of Prospect, the Jewish
student journal on campus without
permission from or
acknowledgement to Prospect. Amy

Harmon wrote the article in question
which Prospect titled "Daily
Opinion Page Editor Responds to
Allegations," and which appeared in
the Daily as "Reflections on
Zionism, Judaism and humanity."
In the article under contention,
Harmon defends her views as an anti-
Zionist Jew. Last year, a large per-
centage of the campus Jewish com-
munity argued that the Daily
Opinion Page's editorial stance

overstepped the bounds of legitimate
anti-Israel criticism and was anti-
Jewish. As Daily Opinion Page
editor last school year, a position
which she'again holds this fall, and
as a Jew, Harmon wanted to defend
her anti-Zionist views to the Jewish
community. Harmon approached
Prospect because she wanted to
address a specifically Jewish
audience. Prospect staff members
worked with Harmon to produce the

Michigan Alumni work here:
The Wall Street Journal
The New York Times
The Washington Post
The Detroit Free Press
The Detroit News
NBC Sports
Associated Press
United Press International
Scientific American
Time
Newsweek
Sports Illustrated
Because they worked here:

final product.
Under copywrite law, a
publication which reprints an article
from another publication without
first obtaining permission has
violated the law, even if the author
works for the publication reprinting
the article. The fact that Prospect
spent considerable time working
with Harmon strengthens its legal
claim to the article. The Daily did
not receive authorization from
Prospect to reprint the article.
Further, after learning indirectly of
the Daily's intention to republish the
article, Prospect Editor Debbie Bodin
called the Daily expressly to deny
such permission.
To reprint an article without per-
mission is illegal and unethical. The
Daily "Orientation Issue" editors
showed a flagrant disregard for the
ethics of journalism. The University
severely punishes people who
plagiarize. If a student were to turn
in a paper that he or she did not
write, that student would be subject
to expulsion. The editors of a
campus publication who violate
copyright law should face
consequences for such an infraction.
Harmon wrote the article
specifically to address the members
of the Jewish community who she
felt were attacking her Jewish
identity. Prospect addresses this
audience; the Daily's "Orientation
Issue" does not. If Harmon had
intended her article for a general
audience, she could have easily
printed it in the Daily. Instead, it
was her choice and desire to target
specifically the Jewish population at
the University. She sought us out;
we did not ask her to write the
article.
Because this article was reprinted
in the Daily's "Orientation Issue," a
publication read almost exclusively
by new students to campus, the
Daily's violation is even more se-
rious. The students who receive the

"Orientation Issue" were not even on
campus last year to witness the
events to which Harmon was
responding. Because the
"Orientation Issue" lacked an article
explaining the Jewish students'
criticisms of Daily Opinion Page,
the new students received a very
distorted picture of the debate. The
"Orientation Issue" did not mention
any of the events at the core of the
debate to which Harmon felt the need
to respond. For example, last year's
Daily contended that Israel could
have been responsible for the
blowing up of Flight 103 and that
the movement of world Jewry to
reunite the 15,000 Ethiopian Jews
left in Ethiopia with their families
in Israel only constitutes a ploy to
push Palestinians out of Israel. It
was statements like these that
sparked outrage toward Harmon and
the Daily among members of the
Jewish community on campus.
Without such background in-
formation and exposure to the
variety of Jewish viewpoints on
campus, the "Orientation Issue"
misrepresented the Jewish
community and the Israel debate on
campus. Incoming students could
have easily believed that Harmon,
who began her article with the
words, "I am a Jew," exemplifies the
typical Jewish student on campus.
Possibly worse, new students could
have accepted Harmon's characteriza-
tion of other Jewish students on
campus as valid.
No one viewpoint typifies Jewish
students at the University of
Michigan. There are Jewish students

at Michigan who, like Harmon, be-
lieve that Zionism is racism. There
are Jewish students at Michigan at
the completely opposite side of theme
political spectrum, believing that
Zionism entitles Israel to even more
territory. The vast majority of the
Jewish community falls somewhere
in between these two opinions.
When printing Harmon's article,
Prospect was attempting to show a
variety of personal Jewish identities
on this campus. Yet, our journal
contained a balancing article to
Harmon's article. The " Orientation
Issue" did not contain such a piece,
leaving its readers with a very biased
view of the controversy. In the past,
Prospect has shown a commitment
to balanced reporting. In no way
does this mean that we are not
critical when appropriate. In fact, we
have published many articles harshly
critical of Israel. Yet, we always
attempt to show both sides of an
issue. As we start the new schoo*
year, we challenge our fellow student
journalists at The Michigan Daily to
subscribe to a journalistic policy of
balanced reporting, ethics and lawful
practices.
. Bodin is editor of Prospect
magazine; Sard is managing editor;
Parrott is associate editor; and
Blumenthal is business manager..
Editor's Note: The Daily
Orientation Issue reprinted Am)
Harmon's article from Prospect
magazine without the publication's
consent. The Daily apologizes for
any inconvenience this may have
caused.

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