It's not just a journalistic "trap" anymore, it's a sin!

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"If you gather ten facts but use nine, subjectivity sets in.  This process of subtraction can lead to distortion." (315)

I found this idea especially interesting given that we have been practicing eliminating information for so many of our articles.  I suppose in this way its now not only important to think about which quotes are the most important and should be kept for an article, but also how the information and quotes cut from an article do or do not effect the context of the information kept. 

As the authors of ABNW go on to point out, however, any form of deleting still produces an end product that is nonfiction, if not of the best journalistic quality.  Adding information, in comparison to deleting information, begins to cross the line into blatant deception and plagiarism, the "unoriginal sin."

 

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4 Comments

Jeremy Barrick said:

You put it in perspective. When you use quotes,or cut them, it does not affect the context of the article.

Really, any choice you make can affect the article's context, but Jackie points out that if you choose to publish nine out of ten facts that you gather, that's a very different issue from inventing even one "fact". Nine reporters can each choose a different set of nine facts and each published story might still be good journalism, but any reporter who invents a detail is automatically breaking the public's trust.

Bethany Merryman said:

When I read this, I felt the same way. It is very difficult to pick from all the information of a story so how do you make sure to keep it unbiased. It's tough but I think Vanessa has the idea. You have to have that mental check-list of what to watch for and really you need to look at all those facts and ask if they make a difference in the story.

Maddie Gillespie said:

Everyone here has really good ideas. I'd just have to worry about keeping so many different checklists straight in my head! Everything needs to be put in perspective, but I must say that I hate it when I have to cut bits and pieces out of articles so that they'll fit in the paper. I feel like I'm lessening the story somehow, even though readers probable won't ever know.

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