[Table of Contents]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [ARSCLIST] Aren't recordings original sources?

On 15/10/08, Tom Fine wrote:
> My experience with transcripts is that they are often far from perfect
> unless someone who knows the material first-hand puts in _much_ time
> editing the transcript against the actual recording. This is never
> done in mass-transcription settings. Court transcribers are amazing
> but not always right -- I've been in courtrooms where a transcript is
> read back and it's not accurate. I had a time once where I gave a
> deposition in a case as a 3rd party on behalf of one of the parties. I
> am so glad I asked for a copy of the transcript and tape and said I
> wouldn't certify the deposition until I checked it against the tape.
> There were several key transcribing errors that messed up the intent
> of my sentences. How many people do this, I asked the lawyer? He said,
> you're the first!
> The problem that Mike Beil was describing, though, is more shaded.
> YouTube is even less relaible than Whacky-Packia. Every PC -- Mac or
> Windows -- comes with video-editing software. So nothing on YouTube
> can be taken as a complete, unedited source. So O'Reilly's blowup
> could have been heavily or lightly edited before showing up on YouTube
> -- or it could have been a selective portion showing O'Reilly in the
> worst light (or the best light, for that matter). I agree that it's an
> unreliable source. If the producer or owner of the show were to
> produce a complete video that they would certify is unedited (not sure
> how this certification would work), then that's a different matter. As
> for using newscasts as an original source -- a newscast is by nature a
> secondary source, highly edited, highly interpretive, highly filtered.
> I agree the original audio is more legitimate than a written
> transcript of that audio, as long as both are used and checked against
> each other (for instance, if there is a paragraph in the written
> transcript but not present in the copy of the audio you have, there is
> a problem, Houston). For scholarly research, unless you are writing a
> critique of something like a newscast, or using the newscast to show
> the editing and filtering at work, it's much better to go back before
> the filter and try to find genuine first-person sources. I always
> prefer to find as many original-actors as possible, because you need
> to triangulate their stories to get a clearer picture of the event
> (memories are imperfect and even the first person has a heavy
> filter/interpretation on everything). Bottom line, it's nearly
> impossible to know beyond question the micro-details of anything you
> don't experience yourself. "History" below a pretty high macro-level
> is usually just a glorified mythology, a compromise of competing
> filters and interpretations.
This isn't a new problem. There are passages in the Epistles of St Paul
which seem to have been edited in the Middle Ages. And who could think
that the Quran is an exact transcript of what Mohammed said?

Don Cox

[Subject index] [Index for current month] [Table of Contents]