Journalism of Verification

Journalism is the discipline of verification. journalist usually fail to connect their feelings about craft to larger philosophical questions but they do know how to crack a story. Walter Lippmann said, “There can be no liberty for a community which lacks the information by which to detect lies.” Journalism has great confusion and one of the concepts that is confusing is objectivity. This made journalist develop a consistent base of testing information so their work wouldn’t be bias. The one thing journalist started to get nervous about was Realism because when they dig up the information and order them then the truth would come out naturally. Lippmann thinks that journalist need to take a more of a scientific spirit by having the study of evidence and verification.

The internet is making journalism so much easier because of the less work to actually go out and find quotes or evidence a journalist needs because its all right there for them. They look now for stuff they can add to other news rather than finding out the information on their own. With all this information out in the internet journalist spend more of there time trying to synthesize data and this can be risky because they can become more passive and become receivers other than gatherers.

To have the discipline of verification of reporting there are certain steps that journalist have to go by and they are never add anything that was not there, never deceive the audience, be transparent as possible about your methods and motives, rely on your own original reporting, and last exercise humility. These six rules if you say are very important in journalism because if you disobey any of these then no one will hire you as a journalist and also no one will red your stuff because it won’t be true. Journalist need to make sure that they turn the information they get into something original so people can get a new way to look at things instead of reading the same material in the same way all the time. People like when information is spruced up a little bit.

For editors there was an accuracy checklist created by David Yarnold who is the executive editor of the San Jose Mercury News which helps the editors of stories to see if the journalist are doing a nice job with their stories. Some of the things on the checklist are like, is the background material required to understand the story complete, does the story pick sides or make subtle value judgements, and is anything missing. David Protess is a professor at Northwestern University’s Mcdill School of Journalism and his biggest lesson is to get as close as you can to the primary source. He says this because if you get as close as possible to the primary source then you won’t be able to mix up any information or have to lie about any information. In the end of it journalist must be true to their audience because if they aren’t true to them then people won’t believe them anymore or care about their work. For the journalist they must proceed by applying transparent and systernatie methods of verification.


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