Most of us view the world of news as factual. Hard hitting stories come into our lives via television, radio, newspapers, the Internet and even magazines. The people of today spend a large portion of their time using at least one or more of these sources to gain knowledge daily. We desire to find out what is grabbing the public’s attention. We take these words as as gospel and site them verbally though word of mouth. Many of us ARE what we read or hear. How could text be false once printed?
Today’s quality control may not be all that it once was. It is truly the journalist’s responsibility to seek out the juicy facts but where there is a deadline, there is plenty of room for rushed error. Daily print or newscasts rely solely on one’s story. The who, what,where,when and how’s of a piece are vital but allow for a great deal of lacking detail. A missed statement or concept has the power to change and entire story. Lazy or time frantic journalists may be confident of their piece but end up changing the entire story due to a lost point. Though a information has been gathered and the story seems as complete as possible, it never hurts to have second opinion.
Most would feel that this is where quality control saves the day. However, with lacking funds supporting a paper or station, lacking support staff also occurs. Where there are budget cuts, there are personnel cuts. The elimination of quality control staff seems to be an ongoing trend in today’s press and media. The argument of ” Why do two people need to do one person’s job?” comes into play. Though that is a valid statement, sometimes, it just takes two. The more eyes and ears on a case, the greater power a story will end up having. Accuracy is everything when it comes to news and a life altering story may quickly turn into a jumbled mess of speculation.
Not only is accuracy important to the viewer/reader, but the individuals involved in the piece as well. The people, whether in a positive or negative regard, are being spoken for. Their lives are being documented and their situations deserve the respect of an accurate portrayal. Hard working local individuals are not celebrities. There is not a paycheck at the end of a falsely presented story. With a lacking support staff we see the justice of the people dwindle a little more.
Unfortunately, this problem doesn’t seem like it will be fixed any time soon. With ever changing technological advancements, our media outlets are constantly being worked on and condensed. So next time you first hear an interesting piece of news, consider doing some double checking for yourself. There is accuracy in numbers and two heads really are better than one.