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A New Era - Creative Journalism vs Facts

posted 12/21/2016 4:33:20 PM |
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tagged: journalism, facts, ethics, editing, news

I honestly think no one in journalism fact-checks anymore, or proof reads what they've written. Aren't editors supposed to, you know, EDIT copy? Honestly, do they think it doesn't pretty much destroy any credibility they may have had?

I opened my local online newspaper to read their advertised 5 stories of the day. One of them was on winter solstice and this being the longest day of the year. Huh? Say what? I have lived here my entire life, and Dec 21 was always the shortest day of the year in daylight hours. Always. Since when did that change?

Ah yes, in New Zealand! In the southern hemisphere Dec 21 is the longest day of the year. But, the article doesn't mention a darn thing about New Zealand or the southern hemisphere.

Here's the article:

by Katya Slepian - BC Local News
B.C. posted Dec 21, 2016 at 8:00 AM— updated Dec 21, 2016 at 12:58 PM
While it feels like winter came with the early December snowstorm, the season only officially starts on Wednesday.

Winter solstice is Dec. 21 and with it comes the longest day of the year – the sun rose at 8:03 a.m. today and will set at 4:14 p.m.

But the lack of day light hasn't stopped Lower Mainlanders from enjoying what brief glimpse of daytime they'll get.

I couldn't believe that since 8am this morning, when this was posted, not one person noticed the error. Yes, I took it upon myself to phone the news room and tell them, that the entire time I've lived here, Dec 21 has always been the shortest day of the year, and when did it change?

The editor said, oh I guess when someone decided to change it. I advised him that it's still the shortest day of the year. His excuse was that it was from their regional paper. Whatever. I don't care who it's from, doesn't anyone take responsibility for the content? Doesn't anyone edit the copy that's presented to them?

That's a rhetorical question, as in this day and age, it's more than evident that no, editors do not edit the content that's presented to them. While the story in and of itself is probably no big deal, the fact of the matter is, they thought it was a big enough deal to publish it. So wouldn't you think if it was a big enough deal to print, you'd think it was a big enough deal to ensure it was accurate? And accurate for this area, not for New Zealand.

If I want to read fiction, I'll go to the library and borrow a book. If I'm reading an article, I expect the journalist to have researched the subject and to be accurate in what they're reporting. Unless we have now gone from journalism to 'creative journalism.' That's a new term I've just come up with, for those news sources that make stuff up and print it whether it's factual or not. A mix of creative writing and journalism. The journalist wannabes that figure if they throw a few short paragraphs and a few pictures out there, it makes it news.

The more 'news' I see, the more I realize that journalism is no longer the ethical reporting of events, but more like who can post the first bs line and get more views - facts be damned.

What is even more astonishing, is the lack of responsibility the news sources are willing to accept. If it was my newspaper, I'd be horrified at making such a stupid and preventable mistake. Obviously my standards are far superior to those looking for the most views, regardless of accuracy.

No, this story isn't a big deal, as such. It is very telling of the industry in and of itself though, as to how sloppy the editors are in vetting the copy that crosses their desks, and of the journalists that can't be bothered to proof read their own copy - or simply copied something from the southern hemisphere.

Yes, we live in a global community now, but there are some things that do not change. One of them is when the shortest day occurs in the northern hemisphere. You know, where I live and where I was reading, supposedly, local news. Another is the expectation of accurate, factual reporting. Unfortunately, my greatest fear that stupidity and tabloid sensationalism has taken the place of reason and journalistic integrity seems to have come true.

Oh, the reason the up-dated time is in bold, is because they did change the article at that time to 'shortest.' However, there were no thanks offered and I wonder, did the print version go out with that? I'll have to check. Not that I'd call three very short paragraphs an article, but hey, most people have the attention span of a tsetse fly.

If this is the dawning of Aquarius, and that dawning means we've not just entered, but embraced the era of creative journalism, then yes, please, can we either go back to when journalists and news sources were exactly that. Or skip ahead to, hopefully, something that actually resembles news reporting?

If we don't pay attention to the details in even the most mundane story, at what point do we finally hold journalists and news sources accountable?

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Dec 21 @ 5:01PM  
The night of the election, Newsweek put out thousands of magazines saying Hillary won, More than that they had all kinds of slams against Trump that were patently false.

In an interview on Youtube, the Newsweek editor said that he had other companies write the copy and prepare the articles, and that he hadn't read them before releasing them. Newsweek ! On the presidential election of the world's most powerful country !

Newsweek got caught on that copy, but it leaves me wondering who is writing the stuff in our nations "most trusted" periodicals.. With the rise of digital nomads, living in all parts of the world and only connecting to their employers online, the writers could be anybody, anywhere, and with all the integrity and honesty of some of the "god faering womans" who keep emailing me right here on Match Doctor.


Dec 21 @ 5:04PM  
we are in an era where all that seems to matter to about 1/2 the people is.... the bottom line for them... and what is in it for them.... and to hell with the truth.. or what is well as everyone else....

my point is simple... if one let's the little lies slide.... the big whoppers will be next....

there is black and white.... all that is certain is death and taxes.... and no such thing as a little bit preggers....

meanwhile... yellow journalism....seems to be back in vogue....

as well as rewriting what was said last week into something else today...

and blaming MSM for it all.....

every day.. trump waffles... and even when he is called on it.. he lies like a rug...

and people make excuses for him...

while he tries to do exactly and very overtly...what he chastised H for supposedly a small way...

donate money to his family charity..... and get to have coffee date with his daughter...

or lunch with his two sons....

I now wonder if he would pimp out his wife for the right price??

for the slow ones... it's bad enough if the sec of state.... listened... to anyone donating money to her foundation...

but for the president to do it.....IS A CRIME....


Dec 21 @ 6:24PM  

Ah yes, in New Zealand! In the southern hemisphere Dec 21 is the longest day of the year. But, the article doesn't mention a darn thing about New Zealand or the southern hemisphere.

Maybe that's where they copied the story from.

Seriously, that's sad.

Dec 21 @ 6:29PM  
I expect the journalist to have researched the subject and to be accurate in what they're reporting.

I'm afraid the days of a journalist having any moral ethics is by gone. Do you ever hear any political news that is fact checked or is it what will give them viewers or kiss the ass of their sponsors.

I think it was an error typing longest instead of shortest because they mentioned short at the end. It would be nice to see an apology with a correction though, wouldn't it? Or at least get an editor that cared when you called.

On my news I heard something about today being the first day of winter, I don't know if it is true or not but the dip shit didn't mention anything about solstice.

Dec 21 @ 8:59PM  
Fay - yes, it's the first day of winter aka winter solstice. Shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere.


Dec 22 @ 10:01AM  
As I have said before, if you think American "journalism" is bad today, go read what they were printing all thru the 1800s. "Yellow journalism" should be a good search-word. Hell, go back to the 1500s and all those Protestant pamphlets depicting the pope farting and all sorts of vulgar libel. When people today wax nostalgic, they are going back only as far as Woodward/Bernstein, Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow, David Halberstam, Seymour Hersh and the like. There is more to history than living memory.

Dec 22 @ 11:11AM  
exvagabond - yes, I'm very aware of what yellow journalism is, and has been around for eons - probably since the town crier had competition.


Dec 22 @ 11:41AM  
The 24/7 news cycle presents many challenges and often accuracy is secondary to speed and filling the news cycle with content.

Dec 22 @ 2:34PM  
PTSD drives the creative person, it affects that part of their brain. Then when they try and medicate they lose the urge. This was known long before they had a name for it.

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