On a talk page, Aschlafly wrote:
- Wikipedia apparently allows any and all citations to newspaper stories, but we shouldn't here. Journalistic opinions, for example, are not authorities. Journalists are also not authorities on scientific issues. Many journalists chose that field because they don't like math and science!
- Newspapers have a puffery and sensationalistic component needed to boost (or maintain) sales. I wish I had a dollar for every newspaper story in the past 50 years claiming discovery of evidence of life in outer space. Of course they were all based on speculation, and all false. So in general I don't think we should be citing newspaper articles for scientific claims. Why can't we cite the scientific article directly?--Aschlafly 21:52, 18 March 2007 (EDT)
I think this could be turned into a policy statement. Like:
- We should not allow any and all citations to newspaper stories. Journalistic opinions are not authorities, and journalists are not authorities on scientific issues. It is better to cite the scientific article directly.
Anyone else like this idea? --Ed Poor 19:57, 28 March 2007 (EDT)
- Does this include blogs and other wikis? --Mtur 19:59, 28 March 2007 (EDT)
- Darn good question. At other encyclopedia wikis where I've helped out, "self published" materials are deemed less reliable than books. Fact-checking and peer review are important.
- Even then, its the issue of a wiki is not a primary source. Should references be restricted to primary sources? Should secondary sources be allowed? Or tertiary sources? If it turns out that Conservapedia uses tertiary sources, then it becomes a quaternary source which is rarely acceptable for any citations being so far removed from the original material. --Mtur 15:19, 29 March 2007 (EDT)
- Ahh good. I assume that blogs are out too unless one is talking about the blog in particular? --Mtur 15:31, 29 March 2007 (EDT)
Newspapers and events
The proposed policy says, "We should not allow any and all citations to newspaper stories. ... It is better to cite the scientific article directly.", which presupposes that the citation would be for a scientific matter. What about an event where a newspaper could be the only source, and for which it is likely to be unbiased, say for the date of death of a public figure, for example? A blanket ban on any newspaper citations seems to be going too far. Philip J. Rayment 19:22, 31 March 2007 (EDT)
- Concur. I came here to make the exact same point! - BillCJ 22:02, 26 November 2007 (EST)