One thing all people expect from the information they receive from the newspaper, magazines, radio, and television shows is that it is real and verified. We rely on the information journalists put out there to keep us update to date in our everyday lives. With so many mediums through which information is presented through today, this leaves plenty of room for error and false facts, unfortunately. Information is easily twisted and filled with rumor. This presents a challenge for journalists who seek to report the truth. Therefore, one important part of being a journalist, whether in the past or present, has been to verify the facts in their content. And while many journalists have a way of confirming the information in their writing, whether finding several witnesses to an event, telling as much about sources as possible, and seeking for many sides to comment, there is no standardized way of verification. Journalism’s goal is to report what happened with all the correct facts and for that reason, the process of verification is what differentiates journalism from entertainment, advertisement, fiction, and art. In Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel’s The Elements of Journalism, they discuss the importance of journalists’ verification of information and present ideas that may help journalists stay clear of continuing threads of false facts.
Journalism is similar to science in that it ought to be objective. Journalists often try to take unbiased points of view when reporting information; that way they can focus on giving the hard facts and letting the public form their own opinions on the subject(s). However, the tricky part is trying to figure out whether the sources the Journalists are getting their information from is valid and unbiased. While this can be very difficult and take some serious backtracking, it is necessary to do so in order to present content that the public can trust and rely on. The way journalists can show their respect for the public is by verifying the information they put out there. With that being said, the 24-hour news cycle and information constantly filtering in via new mediums of that information, journalists can easily become receivers, rather than gatherers. With all the technology available today producing news content, it has become very apparent that we need journalism in order to improve the quality of news. Some ideas that can help the process of verification is to not add any information that was not there, never deceive, be transparent about methods and goals, be original in reporting, and be humble about knowledge and judgements. Overall, Journalists hold a very crucial role in the news world and verifying the plethora of information circulating today is a testament to their loyalty, commitment, and respect to the public.
Here is a Youtube video of journalists and photographers passing the time by as they awaited the royal birth of the Dutchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, and Prince William’s first child. Journalists and their careers rely on the latest, most anticipated news and therefore, they will do just about anything to receive that information. Clearly, it’s a competitive industry.