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Reader James T suggests I should have given Andrew Bolt credit for my comments on James Cameron’s film Avatar.

Proper referencing is important for one’s intellectual integrity. It is also polite.

When I write about a newspaper article or other primary source, I always reference the source, with a link if possible.

If I have already begun to think about a story, to make a notes on a news item, for example, and then come across some commentary on the same story, I will not reference that commentary unless it changes the way I think, or leads me to other information on the same subject.

But where I have been alerted to a story by another commentator, I reference the original story, and the place I first read about it.

For example, in my comments about the Daily Mail’s fact avoiding article on the relationship between fundamentalism and violence, I referenced the Daily Mail, and Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch.

In my story about the large group of scientists who wrote to Ban Ki Moon questioning the global warming orthodoxy as a basis for for economic or environmental policy, I referenced the scientists’ website and letter, and Australian Conservative, where I had first read the story.

In the case of Avatar, my story (which was basically just an approving note about Jim Schembri’s disapproving review) appeared a couple of hours before Andrew’s similar story.

There is nothing unexpected or untoward about this.

Avatar was in the news – it was due for release in Australia the following day. It is not surprising that two conservative bloggers should comment on the politics of a highly political film the day before its release.

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