This argument keeps rolling on and on let me explain where i am with this
As an example a Times reporter attends court and make a written note of the proceedings and that report is published in its entirety in The Times. That is a primary source because it was written down at the time by the person who published it, who was present. I am sure we all agree on that point. It will never become a secondary source.
If the same report is later copied by another reporter who wasn't present and then published and there are conflicts, then that report becomes secondary which is what we have all through this mystery conflicts in the evidence, conflicts in the newspaper reports.
We see time and time again newspaper reports from as far a field as Scotland, Ireland, with conflicting evidence, and it is quite clear that those newspapers did not have reporters at the proceedings. So how in gods name can they be primary sources in the true sense.
I fully understand that from a historical perspective all historical documents can be loosely described as primary sources because they were all made at the time. But in the case of the Ripper we have the original documents and original reports, which in themselves are primary sources, and all others that are not originals in my opinion then become secondary. because primary sources will always take preference over secondary.
In criminal trials secondary evidence will only be admitted if the primary sources are not available for whatever reason.
I have right from the start always looked on this mystery from a criminal investigative perspective, which entails assessing and evaluating the primary sources. Because the problem has been as I see it, is that far to many people have become embroiled in all the various econdary conflicting newspaper reports to the point that the real facts, and real evidence, have become lost in individuals attempts to prop up theories,explanations by using what I deem to be secondary
You only have to look back on this thread and see all those who have been posting various newspaper reports, and all of these conflict with each other.
Yes one needs to read carefully. However you have been constinently say all the paper reports are secondary, glad to see that you do realise that is not the case. The work on Bucks Row shows that while we may have up to 15 reports, several are by the same author and should only be regarded as a single source. We also have the issue where weekly papers repeat a story word for word even when other information has emerged since the first report.
We should not assume that the official report is foolproof either.
For instance if we had say four distinctly seperate reports which all gave roughly the same wording for an exchange while the official report were just to give a generic "x was asked"
There is then a strong case for accepting the press reports.
Sorry that I won't be doing this until middle of next year I guess, but it should prove interesting.