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Saturday, August 27, 2005

the myth of the honest reporter

Over at Slate.com, Jack Shafer has an excellent piece on the latest hysteria over methamphetamine. Shafer has a great bit about the quality of reporting in general
As long as we're knocking down myths, let's take a swing at the myth of the reporter who, if his mother says she loves him, checks it out by 1) getting an affidavit from the old lady attesting to the fact; 2) finding an independent source to verify the alleged love bond; and 3) unearthing material evidence of her devotion for her offspring. The reality is that too many reporters just want to go home and will phone anybody who will give them a good quotation to tie up all those loose ends.
Indeed. Everyone would do well to remember this when reading anything in the mainstream media.

Spotted via The Agitator.

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