[Cross-posted] I spotted the below on Ninemsn today and thought, ‘Poor Brian.’
I clicked on the ﬁrst link and found quite the opposite:
It’s not as embarrassing as the network, and the Murdoch Press, reporting on the Miranda Kerr incident two years late and getting the venue wrong, but it’s still an about-face.
Netizens will be able to work out that the ﬁrst link came about because the Ninemsn website reported that Delta Goodrem turned down boyfriend Brian McFadden’s marriage proposal. Then, the site’s staff found out more and had to instantly change the piece, but due to caching or the way the Ninemsn site is structured, the headline link on another page had not changed.
This is not abnormal and at least the link goes to an accurate item of news.
And Ninemsn was not alone, as Murdochs did the same thing:
It all makes me wonder about the wisdom of such immediacy when it comes to the gossip press. Usually, the items are of little signiﬁcance. They are disposable news, so what harm is there with a brief delay to get the facts right? The contrary argument is that since these items are inconsequential, then why should the facts need to be dead right?
I realize that’s not the way celeb-based factoid-reporting works, and on the web, even more rules get chucked out in the quest to be the ﬁrst on to Google News with the headline.
But we are representatives of the media. We are, supposedly, journalists and editors and publishers. And as the fourth estate, we have a duty to the public.
Call me a traditionalist, but I would prefer to get everything straight before committing to press in any medium, even if it means a delay.
After the Miranda Kerr embarrassment, propagated by Sky, news.com.au and The Daily Telegraph (Australia) newspaper, I have had to conclude that I can’t trust Murdoch Press items at all. Before this week I took only The Sun and News of the World items with a grain of salt (remember all the speculation about who the next James Bond would be?), but am saddened to have to apply the same doubts across more of the Murdoch Press. Especially since the chief himself, Mr Keith Rupert Murdoch, has (thank goodness) vowed to up the journalistic standards at papers such as The Wall Street Journal.
Maybe I should not lecture since I have never been on dailies, but my feeling is that the damage to goodwill across a group is too great when this sort of misreporting starts happening regularly.
Posted by Jack Yan, 05:16
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