Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Research report_Blachka_O'Brien

Erin O'Brien
Blogged Research Report

“Proust Wasn’t a Neuroscientist. Neither was Jonah Lhrer”
In the article “Proust Wasn’t a Neuroscientist. Neither was Jonah Lehrer” by Boris Kachka, the downfall of neuroscience journalist Jonah Lehrer was the issue at the forefront. After the journalist built up numerous credentials throughout his short-lived career, the matter of self-plagiarism played the starting role in his tumultuous downfall as a respected and noteworthy journalist.  Lehrer reached prestige in his career through his blog Frontal Cortex, wired.com, The New Yorker, and his lectures (Kachka, 2012). When word first got out of his self-plagiarism, all of his other works then came into question regarding their credibility. As editors and fact-checkers soon found out, Lehrer had been guilty of multiple self-plagiarizing offenses among other source-based infidelities. These mishaps undoubtedly lead to the end of his career.
            Boris Kachka went much in depth into the analysis of Lehrer’s work to others in the field such as Malcolm Gladwell, and found much reason to elaborate on very specific offenses that Lehrer leant a hand in ruining his own career. The passion portrayed through Kachka’s writing gave much insight into his motivation for writing such a piece. Boris Kachka is Columbia University alum who achieved a Bachelor’s degree in English and Master’s in Journalism. His education led him to start at the bottom of the journalistic community at New York Magazine, where he then made his way up to being a well-noted culture writer for the magazine, as well as contributing to other publications such as the New York Times, GQ, Elle, and Condé Nast Traveler. He has said of himself “my favorite stories to read and write are those I just can’t shut up about.” (Kachka) This accordingly leads to the passion and depth that he goes into when describing Lehrer and his journalistic defaults and the implications that arose from them.
            The article was published on nymag.com, the corresponding website of New York Magazine. Thought the fact that Boris Kachka is a staff writer at this publication has huge reason in why the article was placed here, there are others as well. Though the magazine, created in 1968, was originally known for its NYC city life and lifestyle audiences, it has evolved over the years with an increasing focus on political and cultural stories of greater significance (Company Info). This story deems significant to media consumers all over the country and world regarding our skepticisms of credibility in journalists so nymag.com worked to publish an important piece regarding our society and culture today.
            In reading the reviews of the article, I discovered many people were very unpleased by the presentation, content, and significance placed on the story. Many reviews criticized Kachka for his own fact-checking errors regarding Lehrer’s work. Many also felt that the story was very insignificant in the grand scope of things (Kachka, 2012). Overall, my personal reaction to the article and the bulk of reviews lead me to believe that this was an article to be very skeptical about in reading. While it presents noteworthy information, its presentation and grandeur were not fit for the actual discussion.

Kachka, Boris (2012, Oct 28). Proust Wasn’t a Neuroscientist. Neither was Jonah Lehrer. nymag.com. Retrieved from http://nymag.com/news/features/jonah-lehrer-2012-11/.
Kachka, Boris (N/A). About. Boris Kachka. Retrieved from http://boriskachka.com/about/.
N/A (N/A) Company Info. nymag.com. Retrieved from http://nymag.com/newyork/aboutus/.

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