Are the Facts Being Left Behind?

The latest shift in how we consume information – blogs, online pubs, Twitter, etc. – brings up an interesting question: is the rush for info coming at the expense of facts? Even the Wall Street Journal is having issues with their online content. There are sites that track discrepancies, although they’re few and far between. Regret the Error. FactCheck.org. Accuracy in the Media. Maybe more but who’s heard of them?

These focus mainly on politics, national or global affairs – the big stuff. What about the tech industry? Who’s monitoring and looking out for truth in tech reporting? The responsibility of truth and diligence is of course on the reader. Does the reader have time to really do this?

The overall theory that blogs, forums, Twitter, etc., are all social in nature and in a good position to find errors, correct them and when everyone has finished adding their 2 cents, readers can find the truth in the middle. This theory requires a lot of time and effort on the reader’s part to keep up with the discussion.

I for one feel the traditional media shakeout is creating a vacuum of journalistic principles and the drive to tell the story correctly and accurately. Facts are less important than people’s opinions and getting those opinions to the masses before the next guy. This is great for PR when clips are the key metric – bad for PR when influencing is the key metric.

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