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The Importance Of Accuracy In Journalism

1953 words - 8 pages


The introduction of the internet to modern society has brought about a new age of information relation. Since there is no longer a need to wait until the next print day, news from all over the world is available at a person’s fingertips within hours or even minutes of the event. With this advent of such easily accessible information, new problems for the news media have also arisen. Aside from potentially losing good economic standing because newspapers are no longer being purchased in the quantities they used to be, the credibility of the information itself is also put into question. No one would argue that credibility of news sources is unimportant, but there is a discrepancy in what takes precedence; economy and speed or getting the information out correctly at the first publishing by taking the time to make sure all facts are checked. The importance of having a system of checks on all information submitted is paramount. People trust what they read and believe it to be so without always questioning. If all information were to not be checked thoroughly, there would be instances where people read an article only for information included to be wrong and they go on believing such information. This can be very dangerous as misinformed people make misinformed decisions. With an increase in errors being made by citizen bloggers and even major publications, many are worried that journalistic ethics and credibility in the news media are being sacrificed in order to maintain swiftness in the news circuit and to retain personal profits. Though getting information to the masses quickly is a major part of the media’s importance, this should not mean that the credibility of that information being presented should be sacrificed for its sake. The bulk of media should still be presented from reliable, trained journalists who are able to present the information as accurately as possible with checks on their sources, instead of by those who pose possible problems for the truth of media. Without these checks, it is difficult to trust anything presented in a digital format completely.

Because of the way news media is changing, the amount of people providing this information is changing as well. The desire for an increase of speed in news delivery has led to an increase in freelance journalism being performed by the average person, otherwise known as citizen journalism. These journalists are usually found to have their own personal blogs with simple information about themselves with the possibility of links to other sources, as described by Julie Fanselow in her article “Community Blogging: The New Wave of Citizen Journalism” (24). Though this type of journalism is not new, the perceived credibility of these individuals has greatly increased thanks to the shield that the internet provides. A study published in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly shows that there is a distinct correlation between an article’s perceived credibility and the...

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