Category Archives: Accuracy

An Accuracy Checklist

An accuracy checklist: Mark Memmott lists 13 things to double-check in a story, followed at National Public Radio.

It is “a reminder of things we all know we should do,” he writes, like checking names, dates, quotes and locations.

“When an NPR journalist says something is ready for editing, that journalist is confirming that all such double-checking has been done,” he writes.

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Doubting Anonymity

Doubting anonymity: David Frum challenges the New York Times decision to publish an anonymous anti-Trump op-ed.

“Previous generations of Americans have sacrificed fortunes, health and lives to serve the country,” Frum tells the anonymous writer. “You are asked only to tell the truth aloud and with your name attached.”

 

Spotting Fake Facebook Posts

Spotting fake Facebook posts: Keith Collins and Sheera Frenkel report that Facebook discovered hundreds of fake pages and user accounts this summer.

The New York Times reporters show real and deceptive posts, asking if you can tell which is fake. It isn’t easy.

The latest influence campaigns imitated post by legitimate pages and groups on Facebook that advocate political beliefs, they report, “amking it difficult to tell what was a genuine post and what was not.” Such campaigns also are known as online disinformation.

Interviewing Dishonest People

Interviewing dishonest people: Jason Schwartz says a pressing question in the Trump era is how journalists should handle powerful news makers who are known to be dishonest.

The issue is complicated “and there are distinctions to be found between interviewing sources with checkered histories off-camera, grilling them on-air on a newsworthy subject and bringing them on simply as a talking head,” he writes.

 

Guarding Against Online Trolls

Guarding against online trolls: James Ball reports that journalistic thoughtfulness often “goes out the door when it comes to reporting events that begin on social media.”

Online celebrities and people on the internet often are manipulators with agendas, Ball writes.

“And journalists fall into their trap, time and time again; something about online messaging turns off our reporting instincts.”

 

Images And False Portrayals

Images and false portrayals: Rick Paulas reports that KTVU apologized for using an image from a murder victim’s Facebook account.

The news media often treat subjects differently according to race, writes Paulas, portraying black families as living in poverty and being involved in crime. This has “real-life consequences” and sways attitudes.

 

Public Reaction On A Heavy News Day

Public reaction on a heavy news day: Ariel Edwards-Levy reports Huffpost survey results during a day of presidential setbacks.

“Some were raptly following the latest political setbacks,” writes Edwards-Levy. “Others were burned out, overwhelmed or uninterested or just didn’t trust the media.”

To journalists, it was “all-consuming.”

 

Readers Ruffled By NYT Story On LA

Readers ruffled by New York Times story on Los Angeles: Sydney Smith reports that two New York Times travel editors apologized for painting Los Angeles as “the source of all useless items in the world,” including Jesus statues.

Readers thought the article “dismissive of Latino culture and cliched in its portayal of the city.” This was considered offensive.

 

Recycled Interviews Deemed Unethical

Recycled interviews deemed unethical: Sydney Smith writes that National Public Radio discovered a freelance reporter laced old interviews with current stories without disclosure.

Listeners might have thought the comments were new, said NPR, but some were months or years old. That was misleading, said NPR, and not in line with editorial standards. NPR will not use the reporter’s work in the future.

 

Reporting On Opioids

Reporting on opioids: Maia Szalavitz reports that journalists fail to understand the complexities of opioid addiction and alternative treatment for pain or addiction.

The pharmaceutical industry “flooded the country with opioids and excellent journalism has exposed this part of the problem,” she writes. “But journalists need to become more familiar with who is most at risk of addiction and why — and to understand the utter disconnect between science and policy — if we are to accurately inform our audience.”