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September 19, 2005

Hurricane Katrina and Journalists

This past week I was attracted to the television, after hearing a news broadcaster state that journalists need to watch what they write when it comes to Hurricane Katrina. As we all have seen, a lot of the media and print attention has been on this devastating hurricane and people are writing all they can about it. But the problem with this is that most journalists are not getting thier information from first hand sources, they are just relying on what they hear "through the grapevine", which is therefore creating misinformed news articles.
Watching this made me think about the Spot News exercise that I was working on. It made me take a second look at all of the quotes that I had, to make sure that they were accurate. I even went to some of my sources and read back to them what I had to make sure that it was exactly what they wanted to say.
After being in Newswriting for the past four weeks, I have come to realize just how important the news is to many people. Some people solely rely on what they read in the newspaper to keep them informed about the events taking place around them and if a journalist is sloppy; not getting accurate quotes or facts, then their news is biased and inaccurate.

Posted by AshleeLupchinsky at September 19, 2005 05:05 PM


I think Ashlee made a very important point. We discussed this in our workshop group on Friday. Many people in the group had went to the dorm opening, and took quotes from the same people. Some of the quotes were worded differently. In class we learned, it is a reporter's job to accurately report the news, which includes accurately reporting quotes from people.

Posted by: Jenna O'Brocto at September 21, 2005 07:15 PM

Absolutely Ashlee, accuracy is very important to journalism. You are the one enlightening the rest of society, and it is absolutely critical to make sure that what you are saying is right. As well as accuracy, loyalty is important too. Discreteness, as well as respect to the citizens are important too. Well, let me know what you think, and maybe check out my blog. I have something good to say once in a while lol.

Posted by: Jason Pugh at September 26, 2005 02:47 PM

I would have to agree with Jason when he states that "accuracy is very important to journalism." I have experienced this first hand at my hometown. I run track and this past year, my 4 by 100 team broke the schools record. The journalist had to be accurate by recording the right time, giving the accurate old record, and lastly, be accurate about our quotes. Luckily, everything ran smoothly, but I know many times they don't. A journalist must listen closely and pay attention to every detail.

Posted by: Elyse Branam at September 26, 2005 11:04 PM

Yeah, take it from me, journalism is all about accuracy. It reminds me of when I was a cub reporter for the Detroit Free Press. It was December, 1941. I was alone in the office when a report came over the wire. It was incredible. But I didn't have time to check it for accuracy. The presses were ready to roll. I had to make a split-second decision. Well, I suppose I don't have to tell you that I ran the story. And you know what it was? The Japanese had just bombed... San Diego. I was fired the next day. Sixty years later and I'm still stuck driving a shuttle van. Always check for accuracy, kids. Always.

Posted by: Michael Dell at September 27, 2005 01:08 AM

Michael -- thanks for sharing that painful story.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at September 27, 2005 01:18 AM

Yes Jenna, the workshop was very helpful. Between my group mates and I, who covered the same story, we had to decide which quotes were the correct quotes. Therefore, I went back to the people that I received quotes from to make sure that I had everything right.

Posted by: Ashlee Lupchinsky at September 27, 2005 07:56 AM

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