10 Ways Reporters Can Screw up an Article
5 Ways News Editors Can Screw up an Article
- Quote the clueless bystanders (the people with the least knowledge of the issue).
- Pick the stupidest (or most sensational) thing each person says and quote it.
- Quote only one person from "both" sides, assuming that there are only 2 sides to a given a story.
- Quote someone with a financial interest in the issue and fail to expose how that interest biases their views.
- Misrepresent the identity of people you're quoting.
- Fail to check your facts or verify quotes.
- Fail to tell people how they can get involved or learn more about an issue.
- Claim to be "objective" and "unbiased" by knowing nothing about the issue (Ignorance reinforces mainstream values. When a reporter is ignorant of an issue, they can't tell if they're being misled.)
- Report facts about an issue only as quoted opinions rather than standing behind the facts and printing them as such.
- Show up late to the event and try to piece it together by asking whomever's left. (Leaving an event too early can be even worse.)
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Last modified: 22 June 1996