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Re: [ARSCLIST] Aren't recordings original sources?
Michael Biel wrote:
We've discussed in the past why Wikipedia is not a reliable source, but
I have just come across another reason why we in the recording field
should be outraged. They do not accept a recording or a recording of a
broadcast as a reliable source of information. What somebody writes
ABOUT the recording IS acceptable. Back in the 1960s, Milo Ryan, the
man who saved the KIRO collection of CBS news broadcasts, which contains
almost the only source of CBS war coverage, in an early ARSC talk that
also appeared in the ARSC journal, cited a horror story where a student
at the University of Washington was given a failing grade on a history
research paper because he had used as the primary source the broadcast
recording of a speech rather than a transcript or newspaper story about
the speech. It was a discussion of the outmoded academic distrust of
any source that was not on paper. "Here are the recordings, where are
the scholars?" was the title of his talk. It seems that this asinine
attitude is still not dead.
It may be irrelevant, but one should remember that until 1975 a
recording was not considered sufficient to "fix" the sound for the
purposes of copyright in the U.S. An attorney in an appropriate field
may have an opinion on whether the law recognized a sound recording as
evidentiary earlier than that.
Without researching the issue, I can only speculate that the mutability
of the recording was an issue then. Of course, today an image can be
"photoshopped" and audio modifications can largely be undone.