UC Berkeley

Breaking: UC students stage sit-in in campus library

Protesters have taken over the reference room in the Doe Library on the UC Berkeley campus as part of the ongoing national Day of Action in support of public education.

According to reports from inside the campus as well as in the media, several hundred people are involved and there are calls for a “sit-in.” The UC Police Department is not letting people who are not part of the protest into the library.

The Daily Californian is live blogging events and reports that protestors began to gather around the campus as early as 7.42am today. By midday a rally numbering as many as 1,000 had formed on Upper Sproul Plaza.

Student organizer Ricardo Gomez addressed the crowd saying: “The governor wanted to restore millions of dollars to the universities and his chief of staff said the protests were the deciding factor. But you guys shouldn’t be too happy because they’re getting that money by cutting k-12 education.”

The protestors began to enter the library at 1.22pm after the rally had concluded.

For regularly updated coverage of the protests follow the Daily Californian’s live blog and Twitter feed.

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  • Thomas Lord

    There is another blog covering this event and if you put together the daily cal live blog timeline with the other live blog it’s kind of funny.

    1:54..2:06 — Police bar people from entering. Protests begin negotiating for water and access to restrooms.

    somewhere between 2:06 and 2:40: UC librarians address the students asking them not to damage anything and remarking “Due to budget cuts, we close at 9PM. [Until then] you are welcome to hold your meeting.” [That other source.]

    2:40 — Police are letting people enter and scratching their head over the applicability of the fire code. (Water and coffee has been brought in.)

  • http://www.tktaylor.com Tracey Taylor

    Thomas: What is this “other source” you speak of?!

  • Thomas Lord

    Tracy, I’ll tell you in this case but I must say I’m a bit uncomfortable with the way Berkeleyside uses web sources. That’s a separate conversation, though.

    http://occupyca.wordpress.com/2010/10/07/october-7-2010/

    See the 2:30 entry.

  • Not Gruntled

    I’m not sympathetic. Why should California taxpayers – many not having had the benefit of a college education – subsidize the future elite of our country. Let them pay for their own education, and take out loans, if necessary. Standing on tables, trashing the library – expel the lot!

  • http://www.tktaylor.com Tracey Taylor

    Thomas: Would you elaborate on why you feel uncomfortable with the way Berkeleyside uses web sources?

    You used a (web) source here without credit or attribution which I certainly would feel “uncomfortable” about.

    BTW, it’s Tracey not Tracy.

  • http://basiscraft.com Thomas Lord

    Tracey,

    I apologize for the name misspelling. I barely manage to spell my own correctly, often enough.

    To answer your questions, though… Well, may I be frank? I want you to understand, please, that I’m not certain the harshness of my feelings here is quite right and I’ve been turning the issue over in my head. Tentatively:

    In some instances, I think Berkeleyside essentially plagiarizes (for commercial gain). I’m not sure this is intentional and I do think that there’s a slippery slope that makes such a judgment a bit subjective.

    A number of times I’ve looked at a story here, only to later discover that it is a close paraphrase of articles published elsewhere — with very little synthesis or analysis. In one case I distinctly remember but also several I vaguely recall, I’ve found material that appeared to me to be lifted from an uncited or misleading cited source. I do not accuse Berkeleyside of copyright violation. I don’t mean that stuff was just copied and pasted. Slight rephrasing and sometimes modest amounts of editorial selection are involved. But by in large I think you treat some of your web-based sources unfairly. Where you ought to broadly credit, link to, and directly quote them — you (the blog) make stuff look more like original work. (It’s a habit common among bloggers but not something I’d expect of you folks or folks of your reputation and influence.)

    The article hand says something that makes me curious. You wrote: “According to reports from inside the campus as well as in the media, several hundred people are involved and there are calls for a “sit-in.” The UC Police Department is not letting people who are not part of the protest into the library.”

    To what does “reports from inside the campus” refer? I think this report was mostly written on the basis of other media accounts but do please correct me if I’m mistaken. My spouse happens to work close to these events. I called her up to ask “what’s up?” and, yes, she could confirm the “media” accounts (and give some amusing details that haven’t appeared anywhere)…. but I wouldn’t describe that as “reports from inside the campus”.

    It’s a fine thing to report cool stuff Berkeleyside found on the web but, often enough, I think you cross a line of trying to take advantage of your sources by disguising yourself as the source.

    How does that compare to the comment I made here before I gave you the link? Well:

    I used a source mentioning it was something I’d read, but not citing it. I think that’s acceptable for a commenter. I don’t think that would be acceptable if I were writing as a journalist — that is, if I were in your shoes, posting the Berkeleyside article rather than commenting upon it.

    I don’t have the impression that you guys are trying to screw over other sources — only that the details of format you’ve settled on, combined with a little bit of obliviousness, add up to that effect.

    Sorry, but you asked and I very certainly could be wrong and, even if I’m not wrong, what I’m saying very much does *not* apply to a large portion of the (mostly not quite news, more “feature”) content on Berkeleyside. I like that you guys are here. I just tentatively think some of what you do you do very unfairly.

  • http://basiscraft.com Thomas Lord

    Also, if part of what y’all are doing is, amongst yourselves, racking up feeds to monitor and then making selections….

    A genuine service, in my opinion, would be to package up your list of feeds far more interestingly than you do and de-emphasize, a bit, your editorial selections.

  • http://www.tktaylor.com Tracey Taylor

    Thomas: Your accusations are unfounded. They are also wrong. Perhaps that is why you did not provide even a single example of what you are accusing us of.

    “Plagiarizes for commercial gain”? We do not plagiarize. If we refer to an article or information from another source, or publish an excerpt from another source, we always supply an attribution and, where possible, a hyperlink.

    As for writing that we had reports from inside the campus, I wrote that because it was true.

    We slip up from time to time like all content providers, whether newspapers, websites or blogs. When we do, we strive to make rapid and transparent corrections.

    We have very high journalistic and ethical standards at Berkeleyside. Whether you choose to believe that is your prerogative. But if you decide to throw accusations our way, we would appreciate you do so with some degree of substantiation.

  • http://trampleasure.net/lee Lee Trampleasure

    @Not Gruntled: California has a long tradition of providing free and/or low cost education for K-University. When I attended UCB, I paid about $750/year, and received a $1,000 “Cal Grant A.” My books were about $250/year, so it was a “free” education. I lived with my parents (who were college grads but working class income and could not afford to contribute to my college education other than room and board), and had a part time job for “pocket money.” I’m now a teacher, continue to appreciate the education that California provides to its citizens.

    Students who are getting out of college now face huge loans, and many of them feel they cannot pay off their student loans on a starting teacher’s salary. Same with other college grads who feel the need to take higher paying jobs rather than community oriented ones. If you make college more expensive, you will just make it only accessible to “the elite” (as you put it), leaving out people from the lower and middle classes.

  • http://basiscraft.com Thomas Lord

    Thomas: Your accusations are unfounded. They are also wrong. Perhaps that is why you did not provide even a single example of what you are accusing us of.

    I’ll calm down from your reply and send you an example later over the “tips” address. I didn’t here because it is off topic and, as I said, the problem is not obviously your intent.

    “Plagiarizes for commercial gain”? We do not plagiarize. If we refer to an article or information from another source, or publish an excerpt from another source, we always supply an attribution and, where possible, a hyperlink.

    The cite and link are not mutually exclusive with plagiarizing. Here is an example, deliberately a bit more egregious than what I’ve noticed in some Berkeleyside content. Suppose I had elsewhere posted (and compare with your first two paragraphs):

    As part of a national “Day of Action” to support public education, protesters today took over part of Doe Library to hold a sit-in.

    According to multiple media reports and my own sources, hundreds of people are involved. Campus police has blocked off the occupied area.

    [...]

    Berkeleyside has further coverage of the event.

    There is a bona fide bit of original reporting there. Yup, I really called someone on campus and asked “really?” and they said “yup”. So now the close paraphrase of your article is original reporting, eh?

    Yours wasn’t so egregious but it was (that part) a close paraphrase of a few paragraphs in the daily cal live blog. There was no obvious need to paraphrase there. Cite or no cite, to me that raises plagiarism questions.

    (You want news? Here’s a tip: the 2:06 live blog entry about the police blocking people from entering appears (as of this writing) to have been removed. Question now is: why?)

    As for writing that we had reports from inside the campus, I wrote that because it was true.

    Did I suggest otherwise? I think you misunderstood me.

    We have very high journalistic and ethical standards at Berkeleyside. Whether you choose to believe that is your prerogative. But if you decide to throw accusations our way, we would appreciate you do so with some degree of substantiation.

    I’ll (as I said) calm down and then mention to you the article that really tipped my “benefit of the doubt” balance.

    And again – these are subtle issues. I’m not “accusing” so much as answering your question of why I wasn’t anxious to give you that link in the first place. You asked for my opinion and you got it and, I dare say, in far more reserved tones than your reply!

  • http://basiscraft.com Thomas Lord

    Sorry … the 2:06 entry is just out of order, not removed. How odd.

  • tizzielish

    I agree with Mr. Lord’s criticism of berkeleyside. Berkeleyside seems to use into they got from other online sources all the time without quite attributing the sources. I catch it because I read every blog and website related to Berkeley that I can find. Often I have ready something elsewhere then find it on berkeleyside without really giving credit to others.

    You can do this, obviously. But it’s a little sketchy imho.

    AND

    I notice that I come to berkeleyside less and less. I used to come here every day. Now I forget about you because there is very little original news here. By the time it’s here — except for kids writing posts as summer interns –it’s old news.

  • http://www.davosnewbies.com Lance Knobel

    Tizzielish: so go away. It’s a free country. We disagree about the qualities of Berkeleyside. Fine.

    I think we’re pretty strict about attributing stories, and we always link when we can. As they say in the blog world, your mileage may differ.

  • Thomas Lord

    Gak. This has gotten completely out of hand.

    Mr. Knobel, please don’t dump on Tizzlielish, especially if it’s mainly me that you’re mad at. And, to demystify, here’s an example from your own reporting:

    She took up bowling in 1938. Each day, she had to wait for a bus home after the job she had taken, straight out of high school. To pass the time, she watched the bowlers at the Cal-Rec Center. When someone asked her if she wanted to try herself, she turned out to be a natural. — Lance Knoble

    Compared to the cited source:

    Duval started bowling in 1938 and joined her first league a year later. She had taken a job after graduating high school and after work each day she had to wait for the bus to go home. She passed the time watching people bowl at the nearby Cal-Rec Center.“Somebody asked me if I’d like to try bowling,” Duval recalled in a 2006 article for the Contra Costa Times. “I had never tried it before. I was a natural.”USBC News

    A nice way to handle something like that is to actually quote the source and link to it for those who want to read more. The Berkeleyside article offered little beyond the linked article (very quietly linked). There was little point in clicking through. As I recall I found one fact that differed in the Berkeleyside article but then tracked that down to another uncited article (that appeared to me to be incorrect on that point!).

  • deirdre

    Wow. I must say I disagree with the criticism. Just two days ago I was astounded that I found out about a bomb scare at my own kids’ school via Berkeleyside sooner than any other source. My husband and I conferred, decided on a plan, & implemented it, thanks to this very news source. Maybe other people have time to go hunting around for every possible Berkeley news source on a real-time basis, but I definitely do not, and I greatly appreciate how it’s pulled together and synthesized here. So hey, don’t let the door hit your on your way out.

  • Thomas Lord

    Deirdre,

    The criticism is not about Berkeleyside’s timely forwarding of news information but, rather, about how in some pieces they appear to some of us to nick content from elsewhere in a way that fails to give due credit and that appears intended to take ad revenue on the basis of the uncompensated and underacknowledged work of others.

    It’s very nice that they are an aggregator. Some of their original cultural content is very nice. On hard news handling, some of us think they have some ethical issues on the way they handle it. The benefits you enjoy don’t actually require these ethical controversies — it’s just the particular way Berkeleyside handles the good stuff that creates the bad issues.

  • Thomas Lord

    (You also should think through, please, Deirdre, that if BS is handling news in a way that makes it harder for the actual reporters / contributors to get income? Then they are killing their own sources. I think every one of us critics find much to love in and about BS but they do seem to have flipped out when challenged in this area — for no obvious reason.)

  • http://www.tktaylor.com Tracey Taylor

    Thomas:

    We could cite dozens of examples of news stories Berkeleyside has broken independently, and explain why you are wrong in your accusation that we “nick” content and fail to give due credit.

    But I do not feel the need to defend the site, as you show no inclination to do anything other than make unsubstantiated accusations.

    We have been very patient with you over many months in allowing you to comment ad nauseam on Berkeleyside — much more patient than many readers who have expressed their dissatisfaction, frustration and sense of intimidation at the way you choose to engage in online conversations.

    We would ask that you desist from propagating false accusations in what is beginning to amount to a smear campaign.

  • http://www.tktaylor.com Tracey Taylor

    Thomas: I should add that I am now closing comments on this post because, as you pointed out yourself, this discussion bears no relation to the subject of the story and is a distraction for readers. Should you want to continue to provide us with you views of Berkeleyside you can contact us by email.