4. Proofread corrections, too, because error can be introduced even when correcting copy. 5. Do the math. If challenged by the complexity of the math or statistics or, say, how a survey was conducted (confidence level, margin of error, sample size, etc.), get some help. Do not pass along information you do not understand yourself, words of advice valid for much more than simply math. 6. Check maps when providing geographic information, including routes and locations. Be careful with city and county names. The city of New York is in the county of New York, which is, in turn, in the state of New York. 7. Check for balance. Are the major perspectives or voices or points of view represented in the story? This is the Rule of Fair Comment, and it is aimed at avoiding one-sided or one-source stories, which are incomplete and, therefore, inaccurate. Talk to as many people as possible, even circling back and speaking again with previous sources after learning more from subsequent ones. Try not to allow the first source you speak with to frame the entire story.
Journalism Value 2: Reasonableness Digital content that exhibits reasonableness will be even handed and will incorporate as many perspectives as is possible. In other words, the information will have no obvious conflicts of interest, or it will clearly acknowledge where potential conflicts might exist. The information will be consistent in presenting the facts and will clearly identify opinion when and where it is such. Here are a few questions to check a story’s reasonableness: Is the article offering a balanced, reasoned presentation that incorporates the many sides of an issue or question or topic rather than one that is selective or slanted? Is the tone calm and reasonable? Check also for severe language (“Anyone who believes otherwise has no basic human decency”) and sweeping generalizations.
Journalism Value 3: Transparency Chapter 2 described disclosure and transparency, which are crucial to establishing and maintaining credibility online. Blog readers, especially, want to know our motives, our experience and expertise, our background, and, especially, any financial interest we have in the publication or dissemination of the story or article. So reporters and writers should be up front with this information. In addition, linking to source materials; providing brief biographical information somewhere on the page or site; and triangulating facts, figures, and data can communicate thoroughness and transparency. Make it easy to be contacted, document your source material, and include however parenthetically any tie to or interest in these sources you might have. Readers will wonder: Where did the information come from? What sources did the creator use? How well is the information supported? Even if it is opinion, a sound argument will probably have other people who agree with it.
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 75 pages?
- Spring '08
- Government, Federal government of the United States