Christ – and what is happening to good, old-fashioned journalism? People, it isn’t hard to get a story (or photo) right.
Granted, it feels like eons ago, but I vaguely remember being taught to write my stories in an inverted pyramid (most important information up top, so if the reader stops reading, all he misses is the colorful minutiae at the bottom), to answer the 5 W’s and H whenever possible (who, what, when, where, -most importantly- WHY and how), to make sure my quotes are accurate and not to bury my lede.
That’s it. It does not require a degree in brain surgery to figure this out.
And yet, two reputable, national outlets have made the headlines due to inaccurate reportage – otherwise known as plagiarism and photo doctoring.
Let’s start off with the resignation of Jayson Blair from the New York Times.
“Over the past four years, which included 50 corrections, by reinterviewing sources and examining travel and phone records, the 27-year-old reporter repeatedly fabricated material for Times stories,” writes Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post.
But it doesn’t end there. On the other coast, the L.A. Times is guilty of running a photo on its front page doctored by Brian Walski…
And for what?