Everywhere I’ve worked and regardless of the medium, I’ve heard similar reader complaints: “You got it wrong.”
And the too-frequent follow-up: “If you can’t get something that simple right, how can I trust the rest of what you report?”
In some European communities, Christians
sought to avoid or mitigate plague with processions of men whipping
themselves bloody as they moaned through the narrow streets. Those unfailingly ineffective attempts to
appease a loving God came to mind as I followed the comments of today’s
penitent political journalists.
Here’s the perfect story for some
aspiring TV journalist passing through Cincinnati and eager for an
award-winning clip: Ask hospitals and other institutions/businesses why
they post their signs banning deadly weapons inside.
Melissa Click went too far when
she called for immediate violence against student reporters, and
Pete Santilli may
have overstepped the journalist’s role when he supported the militants’
occupation of a federal animal refuge.
I’ve never understood reporters who invent stories, events, sources or quotes. Whether reporters expect to get away with it is unclear,
but getting caught can be a career-killer. Who trusts a proven cheat or
unreasonable litigation risk?