Bob Burton/Talk archive

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Ingrid Harrison's edits

Coal Articles needing work

Pages needing work

Bob Burton/Test

Bob Burton/Archived messages

Revised book outline

Hi Bob - Kaethin and I met today and talked over the outline. In looking at it we felt that because so much of the book was purely encyclopedic there needed to be an initial section, approximately the first 1/4 or so of the book, that laid out our story in narrative style. What do you think? Have we improved things? The new outline is posted on the discussion page for The Case Against Coal (research notes)


--Tednace 23:27, 14 May 2008 (EDT)

SW: Need a bit of Formatting Advice

Bob, I need to know if there is anything special to do when citing Open Secrets in an article. Please respond to Talk:Bob Barr (context explanation there too) if there is anything extra that should be done regarding references to The Bob Barr Leadership Fund.

--hugh_manateee 20:52, 19 May 2008 (EDT)

Category tweak

Bob, I removed the "US Proposed Coal Plant" category from several plants so that they would not be double listed. I kept the state category, consistent with other plant entries. When they had both it made them both at the bottom of the category page category:US_proposed_coal_plants and under their respective states. The reason we organized them this way is that it lets us keep everything on one page (under states) rather than having 200 at a time being shown individually. (Perhaps we should reconsider this so we also have a list that shows all the plants.)

TI edits...


In Transparency international i did this:

  • corrections -- misspelled names, misspelled references
  • improvemed of footnote format --> new format
  • i don;t like duplicate links -- makes articles less readable; once is enough; I dont see the point of country links all over the place, and also, what is the point for links like [[think tank]]
  • i added a few – instead of "-"; the former is more esthetically appealing.

So, Standsad reverted all my changes/improvements ... this is less than useful editing; furthermore, reverting everything BECAUSE of the link removal? This is truly stupid.

--Antidotto 16:29, 24 May 2008 (EDT)

SW: odd this...

Bob, I haven't the foggiest what to make of this. It's just a heads-up about a possible incongruity I found nosing around after noticing a flurry of edits on the Amnesty International stub off of the Sourcewatch RSS feed of recent edits.

User Special:Contributions/SimonBillenness --- Sourcewatch stub: Simon Billenness

cheers mate. --hugh_manateee 10:28, 3 July 2008 (EDT)

Donald Hodel

Hi Bob There are two articles on the same guy: Donald P. Hodel and Donald Paul Hodel. Wikipedia calls him Donald P. Hodel. He's come up in the coal coverage because he is the CEO of Summit Power Group, which is trying to pushing a coal plant in Texas, and is a science advisor to the denier group Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change (I added him there). I checked on Google and the two usages (P. or Paul) get about the same number of hits.

--Tednace 02:50, 5 July 2008 (EDT)

Contact details on company pages

2008 Congressional Candidates New York Ruben Willis needs correction candidates name is Wills not Willis


Possible corporate edit

Hey Bob,

I suspect that the page on Entergy was edited by someone at Entergy:

Check out the edit made by "Energywatch". They added a bunch of awards that Entergy has won to the end of the article, as well as some other positive stuff. And this is the only edit that that user has made.Adrianwilson 04:46, 23 July 2008 (EDT)


Hi Bob

Please follow the links that were referenced on the page. There was no relation to what was written on the page. I have changed the page to reflect what was on the link. OracleOfReason 21:39, 1 August 2008 (EDT)

Infoboxes on company pages

Hey Bob,

I think it would look better to have the infobox above the portal boxes on company pages. But if it's too much work to do it, don't worry about it.Adrianwilson 20:03, 18 August 2008 (EDT)

Bob, can you rename my article on COMINT from "Committee ON Media Integrity" to the correct "Committee FOR Media Integrity"? How embarassing...I've always called it COMINT and had the actual name wrong in my notes.

  • Thank you for making the change!

Why did you move the history section on Alexis de Tocqueville Institution up top? It seems like the history and mission is the least interesting thing abouyt this organization. By putting their projects first, readers immediately understand who and how they are shaping the public agenda; isn't that the goal of this site? AaronSw 16:13, 2 Jun 2004 (EDT)

-- A couple of reasons -- the standard format of our profile is to have a one or two par summary of the organisation as the lead, then sketch the history/work of the organisation expanding on what is in the preliminary sketch. With the Personnel, funding, contact information SourceWatch resources and external links section down the bottom.

As it was the previous version had the organisation information buried down the bottom which was out of place amongst material dealing with links leading to more information off the page. It was odd the way it was. So if that information is going to up front the point is whether it is better to launch straight into what the org is currently doing or explain a little on the background and what they state their role is before examining it in more detail. I'm of the view that it is more logical - and consistent with other pages - to start at the top and work down.

An organisational profile is a little different from a conventional news story pyramid formula of hook up front and detail down the back. The story format lends itself more to an artcile in D as a case study and/or a side article that doesn't have to include the organisational information.

One query - I notice we now have two pages on one person - one on Ken Brown and another on Kenneth Brown - that link to each other. Would be best to merge these two and put a redirect on whichever version of his name is least used so that searchers on one version of the name will automatically be forwarded to the one page. cheers --Bob Burton 16:36, 2 Jun 2004 (EDT)

Deleting Wikipedia links to SourceWatch

Thought you might like to know that the Wikipedia article on Eco-terrorism has just had an external link to its SourceWatch cousin deleted because of purported 'bias'.

Hi Bob, I did notice those changes to RCP and LM group. References to the Association of British Drivers ( have been removed. I tried to find something to warrant their reinclusion but haven't come up with anything yet. I did find an interesting rebuttal of their LM links from their society journal: ("1 1 = 7", page 5). They are mentioned on Any ideas? You wouldn't happen to be in touch with Jonathan Matthews of GMWatch? Laurence

New Mediawiki software

SourceWatch currently uses MediaWiki version 1.2.2 which contains several bugs fixed in later versions. Also new features like templates were added. Maybe more important is that also some security fixes are missing in the version now used here. The latest version (Mediawiki 1.3.5 was released last week in relation to some cross-site scripting vulnerability. You might have read that Internet Explorer had some problems with computervirus embedded in pictures. Microsoft released a patch, but most users won't have it installed yet. Since everyone can upload pictures at SourceWatch and add them to a page, it is easy to use SourceWatch to spread those viruses. It seams that the new version will also check the uploaded pictures. I guess it would be better to update the Mediawiki used here. What do you think? --Bonzai 23:34, 3 Oct 2004 (EDT)

have sent your note on to Sheldon who handles the tech side of things. Thanks for that - cheers --Bob Burton 00:03, 4 Oct 2004 (EDT)
Thanks for the quick reply.--Bonzai 00:13, 4 Oct 2004 (EDT)

Hi, I think Jackson Lewis's HQ is in New York City, I changed it. Yes, People probably call it Jackson Lewis so I moved it. Thanks. Venceremos 02:48, 29 Oct 2004 (EDT)

Bob, does SourceWatch have any naming conventions for people and/or companies. For example: is Pfizer to be put under "Pfizer" or "Pfizer inc"? Is Informinc ltd. to be put under "Informinc" or "Informinc ltd". Should "Sir Edmund Hilary" be under "Edmund Hilary" or "Sir Edmund Hilary"? do we include people's middle initials? etc. etc. It seems to me that some items are placed under titles that are different from what someone would intuitively type into the search box when looking for a particular article.

I've also noticed there is scant use of MediaWiki categories, although I've created one for my favourite topic (the LM group). Is the use of categorisation discouraged or is it merely the case that people haven't tended to use this feature?

ps. I'm onto our treasurer for those travel costs.

--Best regards Laurence L Durnan 22:41, 30 Nov 2004 (EST)

Regarding naming conventions, I think we should be following the same conventions as Wikipedia.
Regarding MediaWiki categories, this capabillity didn't exist in our version of the MediaWiki software until I upgraded last weekend. Categorization certainly is encouraged, now that the software supports it! (In fact, that's one of the reasons I wanted to do the upgrade.) --Sheldon Rampton 00:52, 1 Dec 2004 (EST)

Public Relations?

where topics/articles overlap between both Wikipedia and SourceWatch it seems more sensible to ensure links to the others article but concentrate effort on adding unique content that fits best with the respective roles of Wikipedia (a general online encyclopedia) and SourceWatch (concentrating on public relations, lobbying and propaganda).--Bob Burton 21:16, 24 Nov 2004 (EST)

Hi, i have read about the attempt from jossi fresco to spread the wikipedia article about Prem Rawat here, as he is doing with most of the internet encyclopdias. Though if SourceWatch is about public relations and propaganda, the topic in itself may be very well be related to that. I am telling you this because you are also a journalist also. If you are watching the contributions list of the Prorawat editors in Wikipedia you will find a pattern that reaches way over just that article, influencing other topics related to Prem Rawat, e.g. Cult, Hate group,..etc., and having several additional articles about this almost unknown cult leader. I personally find it extremely worrying. But maybe i am too sensitive to that. Have a look at those contribs yourself if you will at: