Saturday, April 5, 2008

Failing Accuracy

Reporters have the responsibility of researching for their stories and gathering all the relevant facts related to their story. Sometimes a reporter may find what seems to be the most perfect piece of information to help form their story, but they still have to fact check that information. Is everything really true?

A recent article on discussed a story about the Los Angeles Times. It was recently discovered that one of their articles from a 1994 issue of the paper contained some misleading information. The story was about an attack on rapper Tupac Shakur.

" The LA Times Shakur article was challenged by The Smoking Gun Web site, which said the documents were not authentic and that the Times had fallen for a hoax perpetrated by an unsavory, unreliable source. "

I was surprised to see the date on this- 1994. First, there has been a substantial amount of time that has passed since the original article came out. I realize that sites like "The Smoking Gun" work to uncover things like this, but maybe their time could be more well spent on more current things. Second, I am interested how this article came to the LA Times. Today, the Internet is so prevelant in newsreporting that it is hard for me to remember that the Internet was not always there for people to use for research. Either way, no matter where reporters get their information from, they need to be sure to do some thorough fact checking. Not only as an ethical duty to their readers, but also for the company to spare them downfalls later on.

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