September 19, 2005

All is vanity in a reporter's world

Don't we all want to go out "with a bang"? Hunter S. did. And so did Michael Brenner.

I guess the bang is all in perception.

Brenner called himself a bad journalist for his own publication's story on the hoax involving Kodee, a little girl and her father, Dan Kennings, who supposedly was serving in Iraq. Kodee and her father, Dan Kennings didn't even exist.

How the mighty have fallen.

It's easy to get carried away with publicity over your work. Trust me. It's almost intoxicating for me, when I see my byline in the paper, attached to something thousands may read.

I think Brenner fed on that and disregarded the fact-checking that a seasoned editor would demand during an edit.

As editor, Brenner was probably concerned with topping himself and others. In fact, Brenner is cited in the article as being disappointed by the lack of response from journalistic organizations. I see a major ego at work there, which is common and almost unavoidable as a journalist.

I mean, you are a trusted resource of information. You are editing the facts for public consumption. That's an amazing feeling, but it's also an incredible responsibility that one should never take lightly.

Mistakes happen, but it's difficult to think that something this huge could happen without someone saying "Hey, what's going on?" Very unfortunate. That's why I depend on my editors so much to check and recheck my checked and rechecked work.

Gosh, I'm nervous about my articles all over again. Maybe I'll give my articles a once- or three-over before I assent to publication. :-D

Posted by Amanda Cochran at September 19, 2005 10:34 PM | TrackBack
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