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Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Tangled in a "Web" of Lies
Expressing completely truthful and credible information to the public has become somewhat of a dilemma for journalists. This is because the truth is just as valuable to society as it has always been, but, at the same time, people want their news delivered to them as quickly as possible. This can lead to the negative aspects of many news outlets choosing to value speed over accuracy. While this is a problem now, collaborations between old and new journalistic techniques are on the rise in an effort to create more accurate news.
Discrediting New Media
Journalists who have held onto the traditional values of journalism are often quick to criticize the new media techniques that many journalists have taken on. BuzzFeed has taken the world by storm with its unique ways of reaching out to a more youthful crowd with entertaining quizzes and videos. Many journalists do not consider websites like BuzzFeed to be serious reporting outlets, but the reality is that these websites are where much of society today is reading and retaining information. What many readers do not know is that while these websites are feeding us quick and entertaining news, it may be lacking crucial sources and accuracy.
Journalists have been fabricating news long before the digital age. News reporting has always pressured journalists to put out the most exhilarating and credible stories possible. This, at times, has triggered journalists like Jayson Blair, a writer for The New York Times, to fabricate stories and plagiarize the work of others. While Blair’s stories were going to multiple editors, his lies were still going unnoticed, and that just shows that having a long editing process does not always result in factual information. Therefore, digital media should not be to blame for false reporting.
While there is an enormous amount of digital media feeding people false information, it may be beneficial for traditional journalists to step back and take a realistic view at why sites like BuzzFeed are receiving the recognition that they are. Society is evolving as technology is, and this may be sparking a period of dismay in part with credible news reporting, however, it should be acknowledged that some of the old news room tactics are quickly making a come back. Websites like BuzzFeed are slowly beginning to realize just how much people desire the truth, and are actually using copy editors now.
A Whole New Truth Seeking Era
You could very loosely say that there is a whole new version of editing occurring among digital media, and this is being done by sites like Storyful and NowThis News. These websites both have a similar goal, which is to provide readers with the best and most reliable video clips and news snippets. Employees for these websites spend their days searching through news to find what will be most valuable to readers. This is a version of editing as these journalists are not actually writing stories, but they are weeding through information to find what is credible and what is worth being shown. Although it may take some time and tweaking, this mixture of old and new journalistic values could potentially bring about a new era of truthful and effective reporting.