With the internet there are so many “news” outlets that we have lost count of them. In the race to be “first” in reporting events, some sloppiness has set in, and even untruths are aired or printed. This has led to a loss of confidence in some outlets and has injured journalism as a whole.
We believe there still is confidence in community newspapers that serve small towns. The fact is when you are reporting on people you know, events that you are close to, if you aren’t accurate, there is immediate response from people in the community, from city officials to the average citizen.
The people in the smaller communities demand accountability.
Community journalism is more personal!
The internet has created psuedojournalists.
In Marc Thiessen’s column on this page about the smearing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, he tells of the sloppy journalism by the prestigious New York Times on the allegations made, and the omitting of important facts by that newspaper. The Times did not include vital information that was in a book about Justice Kavanaugh in its report on an excerpt it published from the book.
Thiessen called the story by the Times journalistic malpractice.
In a poll by the Columbia Journalism Review earlier this year, it was revealed that the media’s standing in regard to the public’s confidence is lower than that of Congress.
Rarely if ever, when the media is referenced, is it mentioned that there is “a big media” and a “small media.” “Big media” includes the giants in newspapers, television, radio and internet outlets. “Small media” includes those mediums that serve small towns and cities that practice community journalism.
The media is no different than other major professions in that it has its share of critics.
Journalistic malpractice becomes more common in political seasons, especially when presidential campaigns are being waged. It is not only the candidates who misbehave but their handlers. Outright lies are fed to the media and public and the sloppy reporting guard must be up. Editors are responsible for what is printed and aired. What happened at the Times should never have gotten by the editors.
This is not meant to be an excuse for sloppy journalism but critics of the media also can be wrong, or slighty offbase, in their attacks on the press in general. Some criticism is justified, some is not. But sloppy journalism does exist!