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I excuse nobody, but I would like to put in a word for news journalists and stringers out in the field. Under immense pressure to file copy to deadlines, there is usually little time, even with a major incident, to do more than ask questions - if allowed - at press conferences, buttonhole anybody relevant for quotes, get a few vox pops and that's it. No time to check facts or do background - though many use wikipedia and the usual tools when they can.

Their copy is filed and it goes into the system that styles the copy, which means styling that the sub-editors think will sell to their readers - and not annoy the advertisers. The subs write headlines and cross headings. Then it will run past the lawyers if there might be anything contentious.

You've seen in movies the relentless reporters chasing a big story, following up every lead. That only happens on the investigative side of journalism. It is not a freedom that a daily news journalist knows.

And remember, when journalists go to a news story, they have an incomplete picture.  So they rely on the 'who, what, where, when and how' basic questions. If they manage to answer all those before the copy must be filed, they have done well.

All I am saying is that the vast majority of field news journalists are struggling to do a good honest job, and to serve their readers, not the advertisers.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Sep 13th, 2012 at 11:54:04 AM EST
I must say that all the Journos I've met out in the field have been hard at it, grabbing everything possible. and much of the desk work problem is down to continued cuts in staff and funding

The main problem here doesn't appear to have been them, they all appear to have been relatively straight, the Mirrors crew for example refusing to have their names put to the police criticism, and threatening that if it was used they would all quit as they could categorically say it was untrue. The Suns man on the ground similarly being assured that his copy would not be used in the way that it was.

The morally horrible work appears to all have been done at editorial level

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Sep 13th, 2012 at 12:18:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
tbh, it's quite plain that most journos behaved with much more responsibility than their seniors, who were seeking to emphasize the most salacious and sale-able angles.

but the Sun and, indeed much of the tabloid press, had and still have form. The whole phone tapping affair is all about the distortion of news values at Sun/NotW and others where people's tragedies are simply fodder to be fed into the news cycle with no regard to the damage done to their lives

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Sep 13th, 2012 at 01:35:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well going back to my Leveson stats, Junior reporters appeared no more forgetful than those of other papers, and hence apparently dishonest through omission. it wasn't till you got to the senior ranks that there was any noticeable difference band then figures spiralled up rapidly out of control.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Sep 13th, 2012 at 01:48:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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