※ 본 자료는 연구진실성검증센터가 손석희 JTBC 보도부문 사장의 미네소타 대학교 석사논문 표절 혐의를 브리핑용으로 정리한 것을 외신 제보 등의 목적으로 영어 버전으로 만든 것입니다. 한국어 버전은 이전에 소개했던 바 있습니다. 게시의 편의상 참고자료는 생략하였으며, 참고자료 하이퍼링크가 포함된 PDF파일 원본 자료(한국어)는 시사커뮤니티 스켑티컬레프트닷컴 게시판에서 다운로드 받으시면 됩니다.
☞ [한국어판] JTBC 손석희 사장 논문 표절 혐의 총정리
“Descended from monkeys? Let us hope that it is not true.
But if it is true, let us hope that it does not become widely known“
- The reaction by the wife of the Bishop of Worcester
when Charles Darwin announced evolution theory
2. Introduction of Sohn’s accused master’s thesis
Sohn’s master’s thesis discusses about ‘The Public Broadcaster Labor Union Movement in South Korea : Strategies of Resource Mobilization for the Movement in the 1999 Strike’. This very thesis was submitted to School of Journalism and Mass Communication , University of Minnesota : Twin Cities as to obtain master’s degree in 2000.
Sohn’s thesis director was Chin-Chuan Lee, a Chinese-American professor. In 2004, he resigned as the professor of University of Minnesota : Twin Cities, School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Now he is a professor at City University of Hong Kong, Department of Media and Communication. Mr. Sohn also mentions another professor from School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Tsan-Kuo Chang and Social Science professor Jefferey P. Broadbent in his thesis’s acknowledgements.
3. ‘Center for Scientific Integrity(CSI)’ is the institution which revealed the plagiarism.
‘Center for Scientific Integrity(CSI)’ is the institution which revealed Sohn’s plagiarism. CSI is the only institution that reveals and reports academic misconduct in Korea. CSI was founded as a supervisory organization for academic misconducts of the “Leaders” of the society (mainly university professors and journalists).
Executive director of CSI is Uiwon Hwang, the CEO of Institute for Science-Based Medicine( http://www.i-sbm.org ), critically focuses on quackery & pseudoscience critic and also a visiting journalist-science and academics of weekly 'Media Watch'
When CSI first disclosed about the plagiarism of Sohn ( which was May 9th of 2013). CSI was a experts group subordinated under 'Media Watch', but now it has become an independent institution.( http://www.center4integrity.com )
CSI is trying to follow and benchmark the milestones set by German web-site , ‘PlagiPedi Wiki’, renowned for accusing plagiarism and Chinese 'academic misconduct hunter' Fang-Zhouzi.
4. Detail information on Sohn’s plagiarism
Sohn’s thesis has total of 106 pages. Among them, approximately 25 pages, 130 sentences were found to be academically misconducted.
CSI used ‘iTHENTICATE’ and ‘Turnitin’ as tools to pre-verify Sohn’s thesis, 20% of the thesis seemed to be plagiarized (Refer to Attachments). As a matter of fact, Mr. Sohn did not properly marked referring quotation. He seldom used double quotation marks and indention which enabled us to easily confirm plagiarized parts found by identification programs.
Most of the plagiarism were found in chapter ‘Theoretical Perspective’. It would not be too much to say that Sohn did not write a sentence in the chapter.
Sohn used hundreds of sentences created by various people. He tried to mimic citation indirect, but he had not paraphrased a sentence which is an essential element of citation indirect. He only mended sentences of others’ by copying and pasting(word-for-word plagiarism).
What’s more is that Sohn’s did not even indicate the source of origin in many cases and also he shows many manipulations of the source. This intended false designation of origin is plagiarism of secondary source.**
(** Plagiarism of secondary source is usually done by a student who lacks of ability to read first source or who is lacks of diligence to write thesis. It is the plagiarism that copies the contents and footnotes referring the first source. The very recent news and researches done in academic field of the writer are usually copied. This is how Mr. Sohn did the plagiarism. Moreover, he left evidences by copying and pasting misspelled words from the secondary sources.)
Victims of Sohn’s plagiarism are 28 people. One of the victims is Korean, Youngchul Yoon, who is currently teaching in School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Yonsei University. He is also an alumnus of School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Minnesota University : Twin Cities. He enrolled in doctoral degree in 1989 and also was a 38th president of Korean Journalism Society.
CSI is keep looking at the possibilities of Mr. Sohn copying a whole chapter from his alumnus' thesis during the period of 1989 to 2000. Also there are possibilities that Sohn had hired a ghostwriter.
5. How did Sohn and JTBC reacted to the reveal of plagiarism?
May 2013, at the primary part of plagiarism suspicion raised, media talked that Sohn would make a statement regarding the academic misconduct. However, until now, not even a announcement was made from him.
Sohn resumed his anchoring job on JTBC ‘News 9’ from 16th day of september 2013. Many netizen made numerous comments on Sohn’s plagiarism through the program (JTBC ‘News 9’)’s web-site. However JTBC deleted all related comments and even banned some users from connecting to their web-site. Later on, JTBC restricted users from using words ‘plagiarism’, ‘thesis’ which caused a big issue regarding censorship and overreacting.
He did make a remark about his plagiarism as an interviewee to ‘Sisa Journal’ on 18 Sep. 2013. However, following part of the interview regarding his plagiarism, was deleted in the internet edition of 'Sisa Journal' what made more suspicions.
Interviewer : You went through a lot of malicious rumors before joining JTBC. Such as your plagiarism-suspected thesis in University of Minnesota and economically destressed. Is there any reason why you did not respond to any of these rumors?
Mr. Sohn : I felt that those rumors were no worth answering. Every statement I make would do nothing but help them to make rumors bigger, why would I do that? Anyway, I felt sorry for the University. Those who raised the suspicion troubled the school a bit.
/ You will see an article criticizing Samsung, ‘Sisa Journal’, 2013.09.18. (Vol. 1248)
6. How did University of Minnesota reacted to the accusation?
CSI reported Sohn’s plagiarism to School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota on May 14th of 2013. A week later, we had response from Albert Tims, director of School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota. Professor Albert Tims told us that under ‘Minnesota Government Data Practices Act’ and ‘the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act’ the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota can not make any statement regarding the problem.
On 22nd of July 2013, CSI reported Mr. Sohn’s plagiarism to Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity, University of Minnesota. On 30th of August 2013, Sharon Dzik, director of Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity, wrote us back. Sharon Dzik said that the university is taking the problem seriously and the office has began investigation on that matter. However, Sharon Dzik evaded further questions and did not respond to the question whether we could be informed with results of the investigation.
On October 16th 2013, CSI asked Frances Lawrenz, Associate Vice President for Research of University of Minnesota about procedure of investigation on academic integrity and a question regarding investigation on Sohn. Professor Frances Lawrenz answered us on October 25th 2013, saying that the investigation on Mr. Sohn’s plagiarism was done and the case was closed. Also professor Frances Lawrenz said that the result of the investigation, due to 'private student data', cannot be notified.
7. Few Things to Focus
Mr. Sohn persistently made Daesung Moon, a member of International Olympic Committee(IOC) and current Congressman(Saenuri party), an issue. As a matter of fact, Sohn used his radio program to denounce Moon seven times. On 30MAR12, Sohn invited Kuk Cho, ‘Sisun jibjung’(Sohn’s radio program), Seoul National University Law School professor, to make a comment on Moon (Kuk Cho’s both Master’s thesis and JSD dissertation were found to be plagiarized by CSI.). On 3APR12, Sohn invited Korea Arts Institution professor Dongyeon Lee to make a comment on Moon. On 10APR13, Sohn invited Hyehoon Lee, Situation Control Chief of Saeunuri Party to make a comment on Moon. On 17APR12, Sohn invited Dongho Choi, a sports reviewer, to make a comment on Moon. Choi told Sohn a possible existence of a ghostwriter. On 19APR12, Sohn invited Sangdon Lee, a member of Emergency Reaction team of Saenuri party, to make a comment on Moon. On 31MAY12, after Korean general election day, Sohn invited Kihyun Kim, vice floor leader of Saenuri Party, to make a comment on Moon. On 3AUG12, Sohn himself made a very critic and direct comment on Moon. “We have three IOC member in the country. Two of the three (Kunhee Lee, Yongsung Park) have record of being suspended for their private corruptions, and the other one (Daesung Moon) has very high chance of being summoned to Ethics Committee for his accusation on plagiarism. We are far from having any credible member.” On 4FEB14, through JTBC ‘News 9’, Sohn made a critical report on Moon’s returning to Saenuri party. Sohn raised a question whether it is reasonable for Moon to rejoin the party because he is not fully free from the accusation. This situation reminds he famous idiom 'pot calling the kettle black'
Early May, Heejae Pyein, president of weekly ‘Media Watch’, noticed that CSI would soon reveal Mr. Sohn’s plagiarism (who was a professor of Sungshin Women’s University at the time) and on the 9th day of the month, all the relevant materials were released through articles of ‘Media Watch’. On the very next day Mr. Sohn resigned from his job in the university and also from his editorial radio program ‘Sukhee Sohn’s Sisun Jibjung(attention focus)’. He announced his reason of resignation was only due to his transfer to JTBC. Without any early notice, he quitted hosting his own radio program which was on air for more than a decade. Moreover, he resigned the university in the middle of semester which is very unusual behavior. Considering that Sohn’s radio program often criticized ‘Jongpyun(three conservative broadcaster. Channel A, TV Chosun, JTBC)’, Mr. Sohn joining conservative JTBC many of his liberal friends expressed their feeling of betrayal through the media.
Many articles were followed after the exclusive from ‘Media Watch’, but the quality was more less ‘dictation’. On ‘Jongpyun’, Heejae Pyein, the president of Korea Internet Media Association’ kept bringing the problem to the surface. On 10MAY13, Pyein criticized the problem on TV Chosun’s ‘Doraon Jeokyuksuda(Sniper’s Talk Back)’ On 15MAY13, Pyein criticized Sohn's plagiarism issue on TV Chosun’s ‘Jongjin Park’s Kwedonanma(cutting the Gordian knot)’. On this program Mr. Pyein talked details of the Sohn’s plagiarism. On 9JAN14, Pyein criticized the problem on Channel A’s ‘Unkyung Lee’s JIKUNJIKSUL(Straight Fowrard Statement)’. On the program, Pyein commented “Mr. Sohn moved from MBC to JTBC just because of his plagiarism on thesis”. ‘Korea Communications Standards Commission’ warned Pyein and the program for letting the commentary out on air. In fact that Pyein's comment has been repeated through all the programs above the comment was repeated through all the programs above.
Sohn and Pyein have bad history. Sohn's 'liberal bias' on the debating program called '100 Boon Toron' was the issue. Pyein, editor of Media Watch, kept pointed out Sohn's unfair choice of guests. Weekly Media Watch found evidences that ‘100 Boon Toron’ staffs were manipulating viewer's opinion and disclosed the matter to the media. Sohn officially apologized for the problem on 21MAY09 via the show. However the same problem was kept on found and ‘Korea Communications Standards Commission’ punished MBC ‘100 Boon Toron’ for manipulating opinions. Sohn resigned the program at his responsibility on september that year.
Even after transferring to JTBC, Sohn's politically left biased issue has continually stirred up discord with Korea Communications Commission and Korea Internet Media Association. On 19DEC13, Korea Communication Standards Commission disciplined JTBC ‘News 9' by 'officially warning the program makers'. This is because on 5NOV13, JTBC ’News 9' which is run by Sohn, had only broadcasted opinions of people who are against the adjudication request for the disbanding of United Progressive Party (radical-left party) and did not properly introduce the survey results. Also, JTBC ‘News 9' was also disciplined for violating Article 24 of Standards and Practices Department (the duty to provide precise facts about disasters) by Korea Communication Standards Commission. This is because on 18APR14, Sohn provided biased and incorrect information while interviewing Jongin Lee, Head of Alpha Diving Technics Corporation, about the unconfirmed rescue methods such as diving bell. On 22APR14, Heejae Pyein, Head of Korea Internet Media Association, strongly criticized Sohn for mourning beyond the appropriate level while covering the sinking of MV Sewol. Pyein said "In the movie 'Broadcast News' starred by William Hart, you can find the story about a anchorman who deliberately uses eye drops to make tears for the higher viewer rating. It seems that on JTBC, people like Sukhee Sohn and Gwanyong Jeong are using the same old scam. The starter of this scam was Dongyong Jeong who cried while covering the Sampoong incident. Plagiarism criminals like Sukhee Sohn and Gwanyong Jeong who are old and used up anchormen are creating a soap opera on the news while pro-Roh(a former president Moohyun Roh) portals are advocating them. What can young anchormen do in this situation? Everyone is becoming a showman and the people are instigated by the media. Korea Communication Standards must now allow this any more and take disciplinary actions on these people."
CSI struggled getting Sohn’s thesis. In Korea, accessing to certain academic thesis is done through ‘Korea Education and Research Information Service ( www.riss.kr )’. Sometimes the access requires cooperation from either writer or school. However, CSI was not successful getting the thesis because of Sohn’s rejection. Therefore by directly asking the University of Minnesota, CSI barely got a hand on the paper via online, which is now restricted by the university.
On 4JUN13, CSI reported Mr. Sohn’s plagiarism to Sungshin Women’s University, which was his employer at the moment. However, the university told CSI on 13JUN13 that since Sohn resigned as of 10MAY13, he can not be a subject of investigation by Committee of Research Integrity. Via official memorandum the school had confirmed that Sohn’s resignation was accepted on the very day of submitting. ***
*** In the case when a school faculty becomes the examinee of the office for student conduct and academic integrity, the resignation might not be confirmed as he may be dismissed or sacked by the disciplinary actions. Therefore, Mr. Sohn may have pushed his resignation in accordance with his allegations being revealed to the press and before it was officially reported to his school.
Mr. Sukhee Sohn is very admired among students in Korea for he began studying and acquired the degree abroad when he was over 40 years old. His writing regarding the experience ‘Jigakinsaeng(Late Life)’ is very famous until now. However, Sohn will not be free from being criticized for exaggerating due to his accusation on plagiarism. Similar writing on ‘Yeosung Donga’ is also being re-focused. Actually even without the plagiarism, some people are saying that the facts about Sohn’s overseas study should be investigated. Usual master’s course takes two years, which sums to four semesters. However, we have found out that Sohn only attended the school an year, two semesters. Sohn was in the US from spring 1997 to April 1999 and he only went to the university from spring 1998 to the winter that year. Sohn was not planning on getting the degree, he only went to the US for research study on his own expense. During the period, he was suggested by International Rotary Club to study the degree. The first year was literally the research study period and he joined making MBC documentary film. Sohn returned to the country on April 1999 and resumed his job in MBC. He submitted his thesis to the university in 2000.
Academic misconduct is more than just plagiarism, fabrication and falsification. Concealing the misconduct also takes a part in academic misconduct and it is usually regarded as graver problem than academic misconduct itself. CSI is now beginning to think that the university and Mr. Sohn are up to this additional academic misconduct. CSI can not understand why the university is so reluctant to officially confirm whether Mr. Sohn’s thesis is plagiarized or not, since all theses are opened to public for academic community to use. If deficiencies are found in opened thesis, is not the next step should be noticing the community about the errors? If officially confirming academic misconduct is restricted by some law, then CSI must say that the clause is very poorly drafted. This law has a high possibility that it was created in order to sell diploma to the students of the third world while pretending to protect student rights. Rights and benefits from a thesis shall not be treated apart from responsibilities and obligations.
CSI reported all the relevant data to all the victims of plagiarism just in case of Mr. Sohn and the university denying the academic misconduct. The university and Mr. Sohn do not respond to the problem whatsoever. Therefore CSI plans to give the whole data regarding the problem to all the faculties of the university and local media.
On 7th of April 2014, Center for Scientific Integrity found out that JTBC Chairman Seokhyun Hong’s Stanford University doctoral dissertation, ‘General Equilibrium Analysis of Korean Taxation Policy’(1980), which is currently in stock of Ewha Woman’s University, had been announced as seditious reference by Ministry of Unification, so that the dissertation can not be read or copied. Considering writer’s social status(Hong was named as 20th ambassador to the US in 2005), the subject and title of dissertation, it seems nonsense that Hong’s dissertation is forbade to public. Therefore CSI is now investigating the matter. The matter seems to be related to Sukhee Sohn’s plagiarism being exposed an year ago.
Point of Contact :
Center for Scientific Integrity
ⓒ 미디어워치 & mediawatch.kr
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