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# Teacher: Journalists who conceal the identity of the sources

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Teacher: Journalists who conceal the identity of the sources [#permalink]

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04 Jun 2010, 05:57
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30% (02:38) correct 70% (02:10) wrong based on 11 sessions

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Teacher: Journalists who conceal the identity of the sources they quote stake their professional reputations on what may be called the logic of anecdotes. This is so because the statements reported by such journalists are dissociated from the precise circumstances in which they were made and thus will be accepted for publication only if the statements are high in plausibility or originality or interest to a given audience—precisely the properties of a good anecdote.
Student: But what you are saying, then, is that the journalist need not bother with sources in the first place. Surely, any reasonably resourceful journalist can invent plausible, original, or interesting stories faster than they can be obtained from unidentified sources.

1.The student’s response contains which one of the following reasoning flaws?
(A) confusing a marginal journalistic practice with the primary work done by journalists
(B) ignoring the possibility that the teacher regards as a prerequisite for the publication of an unattributed statement that the statement have actually been made
(C) confusing the characteristics of reported statements with the characteristics of the situations in which the statements were made
(D) judging the merits of the teacher’s position solely by the most extreme case to which the position applies
(E) falsely concluding that if three criteria, met jointly, assure an outcome, then each criterion, met individually, also assures that outcome

2. Which one of the following, if true, most strengthens the teacher’s argument?
(A) A journalist undermines his or her own professional standing by submitting for publication statements that, not being attributed to a named source, are rejected for being implausible, unoriginal, or dull.
(B) Statements that are attributed to a fully identified source make up the majority of reported statements included by journalists in stories submitted for publication.
(C) Reported statements that are highly original will often seem implausible unless submitted by a journalist who is known for solid, reliable work.
(D) Reputable journalists sometimes do not conceal the identity of their sources from their publishers but insist that the identity of those sources be concealed from the public.
(E) Journalists who have special access to sources whose identity they must conceal are greatly valued by their publishers.
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Re: Journalists who conceal (Impossible!!!!) [#permalink]

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04 Jun 2010, 10:30
IMO, 1B and 2B.

Tough questions.
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Re: Journalists who conceal (Impossible!!!!) [#permalink]

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07 Jun 2010, 11:39
these seem like LSAT CRs (terrifying)

i nervously picked D and A
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Re: Journalists who conceal (Impossible!!!!) [#permalink]

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08 Jun 2010, 08:56
No idea abt the ans .. can some1 pls post the OA ..
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Re: Journalists who conceal (Impossible!!!!) [#permalink]

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08 Jun 2010, 11:11
IMO B and A
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Re: Journalists who conceal (Impossible!!!!) [#permalink]

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01 Jul 2010, 10:03
i chose A and A. Noboru please post OA. Very tough and interesting questions.. +1 to u
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Re: Journalists who conceal (Impossible!!!!) [#permalink]

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02 Jul 2010, 04:37
IMO C
what is OA?
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Re: Journalists who conceal (Impossible!!!!) [#permalink]

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02 Jul 2010, 06:31
That was tough! Spent a good 5 mins and came up with B and A. I am pretty sure abt the first one, but I guessed A over B in the second one.
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Re: Journalists who conceal (Impossible!!!!) [#permalink]

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02 Jul 2010, 13:22
OA is B and A.
Congrats to mirzohidjon and anandnat.
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Re: Journalists who conceal (Impossible!!!!) [#permalink]

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02 Jul 2010, 20:58
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Definitely a head-scratcher!

Question 1:

The teacher is basically telling the student: "if you want to conceal the identity of your source, then the content of the source's claims (ie, the source's story) better be good (ie, plausible and original)--otherwise it won't get published."

The student counters with "well, if that's the case, then why do I even need to bother with a source. why can't I just make stuff up?"

How would the teacher respond in real life? Obviously, the teacher would say "yeah, but that's not what we're talking about here. If you want to talk about 'making stuff up', that's a whole different issue." In other words, the teacher was framing the discussion under what he thought was the shared understanding that "making stuff up" wasn't a valid option for the reporter. The student fails to realize the teacher's intent. So, for question 1, choice B correctly points this out.

---

Question 2:

The teacher is arguing that stories involving stories involving sources whose identities are concealed are accepted for publication only if they are highly plausible and original. Therefore, his argument also amounts to a prescription to enterprising journalist students: if you want to conceal the identify of your source, your story better be plausible and original.

Choice A tells us that journalists' reputation is damaged when they submit for publication stories involving sources whose identities are concealed. Thus, choice A lends merit to the teacher's position.
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Re: Journalists who conceal (Impossible!!!!) [#permalink]

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02 Jul 2010, 23:21
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In question 2, the correct answer choice precisely paraphrases the very first sentence of the teacher's argument - that the journalists "stake" their reputation when they resort to the practice mentioned in the passage. It's a long convoluted statement: A journalist undermines his or her own professional standing by submitting for publication statements that, not being attributed to a named source, "are rejected" for being implausible, unoriginal, or dull; the real heart of the argument becomes apparent when you hit the phrase "are rejected" because that's when the reputation is staked - and which is what the teacher states originally that journalists "stake" their reputatoin when they do submit articles without naming the source and the articles are rejected unless they are creative etc... - simply submitting the article without a named source that gets accepted somehow (that is fails the creative scrutiny that typically accompanies such submissions) despite not being "anecdotal" is not so much of a big deal - but when it gets rejected for being implausible etc then it does become a big deal.
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Re: Journalists who conceal (Impossible!!!!) [#permalink]

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03 Jul 2010, 00:19
Thanks Dwivedys and Testluv! Though I got Q2 right, i still have a few questions:

1. Is A saying that despite providing plausible, original and timely quotes, it still is considered dull and uninteresting and hence "rejected" because it is not attributed to a source? If this is the case, then it contradicts the second part of the original statement that some quotes too get published despite the source. If not, then it simply is rephrasing the first part of the original statement and hence I don't feel its necessarily adding (or strengthening) the teacher's stand.

2. Could you please explain why B is wrong? I feel B is definitely adding (and strengthening) to the original statement as it is providing some info that is not present in the original statement.

Lastly, yes, I say all this despite choosing A
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Re: Journalists who conceal (Impossible!!!!) [#permalink]

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03 Jul 2010, 01:06
anandnat wrote:
Thanks Dwivedys and Testluv! Though I got Q2 right, i still have a few questions:

1. Is A saying that despite providing plausible, original and timely quotes, it still is considered dull and uninteresting and hence "rejected" because it is not attributed to a source? No it is saying that there is a possibility that it might get rejected in which case the journalists' reputations would be staked. If this is the case, then it contradicts the second part of the original statement that some quotes too get published despite the source. If not, then it simply is rephrasing the first part of the original statement and hence I don't feel its necessarily adding (or strengthening) the teacher's stand.

2. Could you please explain why B is wrong? I feel B is definitely adding (and strengthening) to the original statement as it is providing some info that is not present in the original statement. Just because many instances are accompanied by appropriate quotes does nothing to alter the stance of the teacher - still there may be instances where source is not cited and hence the original situation - viz. reputation being at stake holds.

Lastly, yes, I say all this despite choosing A
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Re: Journalists who conceal (Impossible!!!!) [#permalink]

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10 Aug 2010, 02:32
B and A it is....head scratcher definitely!
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Re: Journalists who conceal (Impossible!!!!) [#permalink]

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12 Aug 2010, 08:48
read the explanation twice !!
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Re: Journalists who conceal (Impossible!!!!) [#permalink]

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09 Sep 2010, 02:29
tough one!! Still a bit confused
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Re: Journalists who conceal (Impossible!!!!)   [#permalink] 09 Sep 2010, 02:29
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# Teacher: Journalists who conceal the identity of the sources

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