It was a nice statement because I posted it on my Facebook page for friends and acquaintances. Philosopher Ad Verbrugge said Monday: “New vaccines do not make us stronger as a species, they make us weaker.” NRC Next About Corona Policy. Remarkably, I thought, the concern for the power of species seemed to me to be an illustration of Verbrugge’s conservative philosophy of culture.
A Facebook friend who read the article online immediately protested that he could not find this statement at all. In fact: in nrc.nl there are no longer any strong or weak types that can be seen. Have you seen ghosts? Do you still drink early morning sleep?
It turns out that more has disappeared online. A clip in which Verbrugge complains that current vaccines have been developed “at an insanely rapid pace”, without “scientific limitations and the lengthy testing procedures associated with them.” Like The Guardian, it is “actually available during the beta phase.” [zijn] Residents, “and” we’ll only know later what that means for potential side effects. “They were also missing in the afternoon newspaper.
Why? An online “correction” below the interview later that morning stated that “some clips” had been deleted “due to lack of scientific support.” No advertisements were made in the afternoon newspaper, because these readers – and there are many others – received the copy as the newspaper intended to publish it. Ok, later.
Ad Verbrugge reacted angrily and insulted LinkedIn at what he saw as censorship and an assault on his scientific reputation. He was praised by astonished and angry fans and letter-writers. at Statement on LinkedIn The philosopher attributes the cleaning of his words to “unacceptable” interference by the Science Editing Office, which does not want any dissenting voices. Radio Panel from Press spokesmen He supported the intervention under the slogan: No nonsense in vaccines. Meanwhile, the accident was grinding to the mill of critics who accuse the media of censoring Corona.
First, the course of events. The interview, conducted by reporter Case Verstige (who previously had a general assessment of Corona procedures) was presented Friday with the philosopher’s approval. Unlike Verstage’s previous article, it is not discussed with knowledge. Over the weekend, some adjustments were made in consultation with Verbrugge. And on Sunday evening, the philosopher found an email from Versteegh that the final editors – now after consulting the science editor – wanted more edits, which he reluctantly accepted.
This is regular so far, albeit final revision late.
But on Monday morning – when the interview was published – Verbrugg received a phone call from Verstige with an “unpleasant announcement” that the clips were still being deleted; He would have wanted it otherwise, but it was decided. So there went the species, followed by the experimental nature of vaccines. Before and during the morning meeting with the editors-in-chief, new protests arose against the editor-in-chief. Furthermore, Verbrugge was told, an online correction (where the entire piece was written for a short time) had been made stating that it was “not scientifically proven”.
Nice place, I think Verbrugge – and so did I.
Letting go of a published interview (not because it should be shortened) is painful for a number of reasons. It touches on the ingenuity of the author and the final editor (who appears to have not done their job well enough), the confidence of the speaker (who sees a different text in the newspaper than what was agreed upon), and the online archive (the ‘wrong’ copy can still be found. on her?). But first of all: After an interview with NRC, do you now have to take into account that after publication, your words will be edited according to the consensus tape – then not in a sequel, but by canceling them? The allegations made in an interview are primarily attributable to the speaker.
This is the editor-in-chief’s explanation. Yes, the newspaper definitely wants to give way to a criticism of Corona’s policy (there was also a lot of this in the interview, as well as in a previous conversation with fellow philosopher Marley Hoeger and in an opinion piece by Fast Fixers). But: The newspaper does not want to spread the fallacies or false news about vaccines, especially if it is on the Internet forever. And there was still time to adjust this. Moreover, the idea was to protect the speaker by deleting these clips. The latter failed, because Verbrugge (whom I called) feels – rightly so – that his reputation has been affected by the correction.
After discussion in the editors, this correction has been greatly expanded, now with offensive quotes (and thus reposting). Also on NRC.next, the discrepancy of “interviewee” appeared retrospectively in the column on Friday. Corrections and additions.
Continue rubbing into the stain.
After all, an intervention like this also affects the interests of the reader as well, but not least. This gets (through deletions) an incomplete picture of the person’s point of view, logic, and thinking. Or, due to the correction, the speaker suddenly finds himself in a position to respond in a section where editorial errors are usually corrected and no data from the interview is present.
Of course, it is a good thing that the media in the time of Corona take responsibility for what they publish, are aware of its impact and stick to the science (which is often ambiguous by the way). You could also ask yourself why the newspaper consults a cultural philosopher who should have trained in virology in the same way as you and me. But if you do, let him speak and let the reader fully know what he’s thinking and claiming. Deleted phrases might be debatable, but they were a far cry from the kind of Corona denial you want to avoid with the beater tool.
How yet? Ideally, questionable or “incorrect” statements are actually contradictory or critical in the interview itself. If a discussion arises after posting, follow up with a piece with replies or Reality check Offer solace. The best thing left of course: comprehensive editing beforehand and not at the last minute, let alone editing afterward. Then the newspaper could have sent Versteig with further questions for an explanation (or perhaps you decided not to publish at all). But once published it gets published.
Besides this, there is also a practical case for hedge protection. “Quick” fix effects like this quickly give you a working day. To clarify, to please those involved, talk to readers – then that’s the ombudsman. You don’t have to be a Taoist to find this Wu Wei, Don’t get involved, sometimes it’s better.
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A copy of this article also appeared in NRC Handelsblad on March 6, 2021
A copy of this article also appeared on nrc.next on March 6, 2021