by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
fact checking, journalism

Scary: It's 'Newsworthy' That A Newspaper Prints Facts

from the what-has-the-world-become dept

It's really incredible how much "he said/she said" reporting is out there these days, where some (certainly not all) reporters seem to think it's their job to "report both sides of the story." Of course, there are all sorts of problems with that: a story may have a lot more than two sides (or perhaps one fewer). And, some of those sides might not be telling the truth. But some (again, not all) reporters act as though as long as they report what the different sides are saying, they have no obligation to point out when any of the parties are being less than truthful. At times, it gets even worse, when reporters just report one side of a story... and that one side isn't even close to truthful.

The problem is that some have decided that "objective" reporting means not actually pointing out false statements. Unfortunately for those who believe that, it seems pretty clear that people like it when reporters actually call people on blatantly false statements, as they find that very useful. But it's still a pretty sad day when the fact that a newspaper has started fact-checking what politicians say is considered newsworthy. It shows just how far some newspapers have sunk. Equally amusing, of course, is the claim from one politician that such fact-checking represents "a new low," and that kind of thing belongs "on the editorial page." Calling someone out on a blatantly false statement is not editorial and doesn't belong just on the opinion pages. People look to news organizations to report the news, and that means highlighting the truth and calling out lies. Just because you point out that someone is not being truthful, it doesn't make it opinion or bias. It makes it useful.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Jul 2010 @ 2:58pm

    now imagine if you could do that in a blog. nahh.

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