Trolling a scam publishing company

Will I be able to get my bogus thesis paper physically published?


**Update 10/24/16: Turns out, it IS possible!**


ISBN number and everything! :D P.S. That’s me with Kenny Loggins (and my mom) in the author’s pic.

The original story:

Last week, I received the following email:

I thought it was a little weird, considering my MA thesis project was a documentary film called “California’s Cannabis Culture” (though I did study International Broadcast Journalism at Westminster University in London).

Being no stranger to online scams, I decided to do some research and found many unsavory articles about the company, warning academics not to publish their work through them.

I was about to send a polite “thanks, but no thanks” email…but thought it would be a lot more fun to mess with them.

The following is an excerpt of the first few sections of my “manuscript.” I just emailed the entire thing to her (which I filled out with blog entries from high school towards the end, to make it around the typical length of a thesis paper). Stay tuned to see if I manage to get this drivel through their “editing” process, and into an actual book!


INTERNATIONAL BROADCAST JOURNALISM

An MA Thesis for Westminster University, LONDON, 2010

As prepared by Dr. Amanda Van West

INTRODUCTION

What do you think of when you hear the term “International Broadcast Journalism”? Do you think of journalists traveling internationally and broadcasting it? Do you think of journalists who are not national, doing broadcasts exclusively for international audiences? This is it. It’s everything, and all of it at once.

Together, with the evolution of international, and the world becoming increasingly more and more not national, there is a time and a place for journalism. Journalism is now. Journalism is also then, and also the future. Now add “international” to the equation. Then add a dash of “broadcast” and what do you get? That’s right, you get “International Broadcast Journalism.”

For the past year, I have been studying every single aspect of International Broadcast Journalism. From international, to broadcast, to journalism, I’ve studied it all. I know it inside and out, and consider myself quite the expert on it at press time.

The esteemed dictionary.com defines “international”, as an adjective, as “between or among nations; involving two or more nations: international trade.” As a noun, it defines it as “an organization, enterprise, or group, especially a major business concern, having branches, dealings, or members in several countries.” It says it originated in 1770–1780, which is a long time ago but not that long ago in the grand scheme of life. Could you believe that by this data, it means that there were no international broadcast journalists in the Dinosaur Era?

Luckily, with the rise of international and the decline of national, juxtaposed against the fascinations of journalism, and the technological advances of broadcasting techniques (eg “social media”, ex: “blogs”, ex: Friendster), we finally are in an existence of history where International Broadcast Journalism is reality. And I’m going to tell you everything about it, in the following MA thesis paper for the Westminster University college in London, England, UK. Please read on to learn more.

SECTION 1: WHAT IS “INTERNATIONAL”?

As previously indicated in the “Introduction” section of this esteemed MA thesis paper, “International” has the duality of being both an adjective, AND a noun. But what does Wikipedia have to say about it? It says the following, verbatim, word-for-word:

“International mostly means something (a company, language, or organization) involving more than a single country. The term international as a word means involvement of, interaction between or encompassing more than one nation, or generally beyond national boundaries. For example, international law, which is applied by more than one country and usually everywhere on Earth, and international language which is a language spoken by residents of more than one country.”

That is an incredibly astute observation and definition of the word international. It’s really important to be clear about the meaning of international, especially as I continue to describe how the application of the term “international” applies to the concept of “International Broadcast Journalism” later on. Please, I advise you to stick along with this point, as it’s incredibly important to grasp the concept of the aforementioned words and theoretical ideas and idioms and definitions of international.

But first, to understand “International” not just as a theory but as a practical part of everyday life, we must break it down even further. To create “International” we have the following:

“In”, in other words, the opposite of “out”.

“Tern” : like “Fern” but with a “T” instead of an “F”, thus changing the entire meaning of the section of this word.

“-Ational”: You can’t spell “Rational” without “-ational”? You also can’t spell “National” without it. And guess what? You can’t spell “International” without “National” nor “-ational.” Isn’t that inspir-ational? See? That’s another word that fuses these concepts together in a very cohesive way.

Now that you have an understanding of how all these building blocks fit together, we can slowly but surely move on to Section 2 of this thesis. Unlike Section 1, Section 2 is an even number. Another even number is 4, but we will not even begin to broach the subject until the end of Section 3, which is another odd number, just like this section that we’re in now, Section 1.

Oh you know what else we should think about when we think of “International” and start to break it down and then redefine its very definition of the word? International Man of Mystery, Austin Powers.

Currently I’m writing this thesis paper from London, England, United Kingdom, Great Britain. Do you know who else lived there? Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery. It’s no coincidence that the island where I’m studying “International Broadcast Journalism” is the very same place where he is from. It’s important to study and write in the place where those people like that who are very important and esteemed have left their legacy. Because without legacy, what is the point?

But I digress. The point isn’t to discuss the merits and applications of “point”, rather it is to ruminate on “International” and how international broadcast journalism has evolved and what it means, and how we can use it in everyday life.

On that point, let’s move on to Section 2: What Is “Broadcast”?

SECTION 2: WHAT IS “BROADCAST”?

While the previous section focused solely on “international”, the aim of this section is to define “broadcast”, and how it applies to the other sections. To understand international broadcast journalism as a whole, it is absolutely imperative to understand the very building blocks that create it. Just like we cannot understand humans without understanding DNA.

Do you know what DNA is? DNA stands for “Deoxyribonucleic acid”, and is regarded as the building blocks of life. Every single living organism is made of up of DNA — including, you guessed it, International Broadcast Journalists. Without DNA, the very idea and concept of International Broadcast Journalism would be futile. It would not exist, and we would not exist, and therefore if we didn’t exist then there would be no one to:

  1. Develop the idea and/or concept of International Broadcast Journalism
  2. Study International Broadcast Journalism
  3. Define International Broadcast Journalism
  4. Write academia related to International Broadcast Journalism
  5. Read academia related to International Broadcast Journalism
  6. Grade academia and award MA degrees in International Broadcast Journalism
  7. Give out jobs based on the merits of the MA degrees in International Broadcast Journalism

So as you can see from this list of concrete concepts, the very national of international broadcast journalism depends at least 99% on the nature of DNA and how it applies to living breathing humans. When you really think about it further, the only thing separating humans from the rest of the animal kingdom is our ability to be International Broadcast Journalists.

There is not a single other living breathing non-human organism that has the capability of this. Yes, they are also made up of DNA, but the human race far exceeds the International Broadcast Journalism capabilities of say, the orangutan. Or the sloth. Or the tsetse fly. A Tsetse fly does not have the correct physiology to handle the equipment necessary to be an international broadcast journalist. It does not have hands to hold the microphone needed during a report. It cannot speak, so therefore it cannot ask questions of interviewees. It does not know how to blog, nor does it understand the idea of the Internet (invented by Al Gore in the early 1990s).

Without the internet, International Broadcast Journalism would be limited to the regions in which it was originally broadcast. Let’s take a think through the following example and or scenario of the concept of which I’m describing:

Imagine I am an international broadcast journalism. I am in Lake Titicaca, reporting on very international things. Now imagine a viewer in the deserts of rural Canada, where there is no internet. How is that Canadian going to view my report, do you imagine? They cannot. Because they don’t have the internet. And without the internet, this is all futile.

Luckily, as we’ll learn in subsequent and previous sections upon further review, International Broadcast Journalism is not futile. Because I’m studying it, and I’m reporting about it. The next section, Section 3, is very exciting. It will be the section to put all the aforementioned sections together. Previously, each of those words had just their own meaning. But what happens when you put all of those words and concepts together? I can’t tell you now, because that will need to wait until Section 3, which is the section right after the end of this sentence.

SECTION 3: WHAT IS “INTERNATIONAL BROADCAST JOURNALISM?”

At this point in my MA thesis paper, we are finally at “International Broadcast Journalism.” Not just as a series of three words put together in a very particular order, but looking at it under the gaze of, “What is international broadcast journalism?”

As you might surmise, International Broadcast Journalism is what happens when you are doing journalistic endeavours in or around international people, places, and concepts, and you are broadcasting them through things like radio, television, internet, podcasts, videos, but not cassette tapes because they are kind of outdated now and are no longer part of the diaspora of International Broadcast Journalism.

In order to be an International Broadcast Journalists, you must study International Broadcast Journalism. Similarly, in order to make a pizza, you must have all of the necessary ingredients. Allrecipes.com gives many good ideas for pizza recipes. To create a delicious pizza, with a 5 star rating on allrecipes.com, you need to have pizza dough, pizza sauce, and your cheese of choice (please note: American cheese will not taste good on a pizza. If you are in a non-International place without access to mozzarella cheese, it is best to use string cheese rather than American cheese).

In addition, you can feel free to add whatever toppings you’d like. If you’re a vegetarian, you can do mushrooms (not the drug), zucchini (or “courgette” as they say here in London), peppers (green, red, yellow), olives, basil, red onions, white onions, broccoli, you name it. If you are a carnivore, please add whatever meat you so desire. Like pepperoni, the classic pizza topping, salami, Italian sausage (it’s international!), filet mignon, Canadian bacon (also international!), really any meat that is delicious and readily available in your international location of choice.

However, it is important to note that if you are vegan, you shouldn’t be putting any cheese on it. They make vegan cheese, but the kind I had was kind of gross and had a weird texture, so I’d advise to omit the cheese altogether and just do a sauce plus veggie topping. Oh yeah and make sure they don’t put any eggs in the dough. Eggs, as you might know, given the fact that they come from chickens (i.e. animals), are not vegan.

Now that this scientific and gastronomic analogy is over, and you are fully grasping the concept of International Broadcast Journalism, we can begin to think about the future of it, and also the past, and perhaps above all else most importantly and imperatively, the present, of and or related to International Broadcast Journalism.

As important and omniscient as International Broadcast Journalism is, given the fact that there are upwards of tens of thousands of countries that make up the planet earth, each one more international than the next, let us not forget what came before international broadcast journalism. Similar to the theory of “what came first? The chicken or the egg?” we must do our due diligence as journalistic scholars, studying the high-level concepts of journalism, by asking, “what came first? International Broadcast Journalism or National Broadcast Journalism?” Please proceed to Section 4 to understand what I mean by “National”, and how it relates to “Broadcast Journalism”, as well as national vs. international.

SECTION 4: WHAT ABOUT NATIONAL BROADCAST JOURNALISM?

Comparing “National” to “International” is like comparing the United States of America to Great Britain. What this means is that, for example, I am a citizen of the United States of America. I was born there, I have a US passport, therefore I am a national. Even though I am half-Mexican and there are people out there who might want to deport me, I am legally a US national. Now let’s take a look at Great Britain (aka the United Kingdom, aka England, they’re all interchangeable when you’re an international). I have lived in Great Britain. But I was not born there. I do not hold a UK passport. I have not met the queen (though I have walked by Buckingham Palace.) Also, one time I watched this show called “I Wanna Marry Harry”, where a Prince Harry doppelganger had to convince these American girls to fall in love with him.

In addition, I believe that The Mighty Boosh is one of the finest comedies of our modern generation of nationals and internationals alike. As you can surmise, culturally I am aligned with Great Britain. However, I am not a national. In fact, one might describe me as “international”. Because I am from America, an American, I am inherently “international” when I am anywhere outside of the United States of America (that also includes Mexico). As a student of broadcast journalism, this makes me, without a shadow of a doubt, an International Broadcast Journalist.

Now what happens when you omit “inter” from “International Broadcast Journalism”? That is correct, you get “National Broadcast Journalism.” This is not to be confused with “National Broadcast Channel”, or NBC. It’s easy to see the confusion, as there are journalists on NBC. As an international broadcast journalism student, and a national of the US of A, I have spent many hours watching the programmes on NBC. Conan O’Brien, SNL, 30 Rock, etc. They are fine pieces of media, though they are not journalistic in nature.

However, it is important to note that SNL does have a journalistic angle, in the form of “Weekend Update.” It is the segment that reports on newsworthy stories from the week. You know who else reports newsworthy stories? That’s right, international broadcast journalists.

It is my goal, by the end of this paper, to have educated you about nearly every single aspect of international broadcast journalism. By having a section, Section 4 to be precise, about national journalism, it will give you better insight into international journalism as a whole.

Now let’s move on to the bigger question, and attempting to answer it through words.

SECTION 5: “BUT WHY?”

There are many questions that start with the letter W. Who? What? When? Where? But the one that is arguably the most important, and the focus of this section of my thesis paper, is “Why?” Not just, “why” on it’s own, but joined together with a word that appeared 8 words ago, “but.” So the big question is, “But Why?”

It’s important to ask a lot of questions. Without questions, we wouldn’t have answers. There are many different types of questions. Sometimes questions are long-winded. Sometimes there are journalists (international or not) who seem to be asking questions, but they’re really just making statements and then the person they’re interviewing just says a lot of words with their mouth.

Personally, I like to ask a lot of questions, because I like getting answers. For instance, one time this vanity publishing company approached me to publish my thesis paper. My first question was, “wait a second, how can they publish my thesis paper when my thesis was actually a documentary film called California’s Cannabis Culture?” My second question was, “what company is this?” My third question was, “are they legitimate?”

After asking myself all of these different questions, like any good, trained International Broadcast Journalist, I began to do my research. I dug around all over the internet, reading blog after blog post and article after article warning against publishing with this company. How it was screwing over writers, who got stiffed out of their hard work.

Luckily for me, the apparent lack of professionals working for this company led me to dupe them into publishing this bogus thesis paper. I can guarantee that when I submit this to them, they will just scan it to make sure it’s not plagiarizing anything, and then they’ll proceed with publishing it. And hey, I’ll finally be a published author! All from asking “But Why?”


Oh and if you’re curious, the rest of the sections are:

  • SECTION 6: THE IMPLICATIONS OF JOURNALISM GOING FROM NATIONAL TO INTERNATIONAL, AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR THE JOURNALISTS AND JOURNALS ALIKE
  • SECTION 7: THE EVOLUTION OF INTERNATIONAL BROADCAST JOURNALISM, AND HOW IT’S CHANGED FROM THE BEGINNING OF INTERNATIONAL BROADCAST JOURNALISM’S HISTORY UNTIL NOW
  • SECTION 8: HOW INTERNATIONAL BROADCAST JOURNALISM STARTED, AND HOW IT’S CHANGED, BUT THEN IT’S KIND OF REMAINED THE SAME, AND NOW IT’S NOT THAT DIFFERENT FROM BEFORE
  • SECTION 9: WHAT IS THE INTERNET? AND HOW HAS THIS THING IMPACTED THE WORK OF INTERNATIONAL BROADCAST JOURNALISTS AROUND THE GLOBE?
  • SECTION 10: THE GLOBALISATION OF INTERNATIONAL BROADCAST JOURNALISM
  • CONCLUSION
(Artist rendition of author, should her work actually make it through publishing)
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