Monday, 20 August 2012

The case of the missing blog post...

No need to call Sherlock Holmes! It's just that this weekend's intended blog post didn't make it onto the site.

I had written most of an article, but got stuck while checking my facts. I'm a bit old fashioned that way - I don't like to publish something without being reasonably sure of what I'm saying. Five minutes of fact checking before publishing is far better than spending lots of time having to apologise and correct articles afterwards.

In the commercial news media, it seems there is an ever-increasing pressure to bypass the fact-checking stage. A friend, who was close to the industry for many years, tells me that checking facts means that there's a delay in getting the news out. In today's world of instant connectivity, this means that some other media outlet might break the news before you. And that costs money.

The same friend tells me that the professional journalists he knows are keen to check their facts. But, as the documentary film "Starsuckers" shows, journalists are not always given the time to check facts by their employer, due to commercial pressures to get the news out. Accuracy, it seems, doesn't sell half as well as a good headline.

And so, as old-fashioned as it may seem, my originally intended blog post has been sent back to the drawing board because of incorrect facts.  But I hope you'll agree that it's better to have a missing post than a misleading post.

No comments:

Post a Comment