Whether It’s News Writing or Lit Crit, Being a Skeptic is Still the Key

| | Comments (1)

The comic, “A Famous Person Has Died” by John Campbell was certainly amusing and definitely true.  After reading Jeanine’s blog entry on how many news stations no longer verify the facts before they announce them in an effort to get ahead of other stations, I was first reminded of an article I read last semester in Literary Criticism.  The article,“’But One Expects That’: Charlotte Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ and the Shifting Light of Scholarship,” goes through the various previous research that was done on “The Yellow Wallpaper” and shows how some of it was faulty and other critics just took this false information for granted as truth.  Sometimes when there is not a lot of news or when one station is trying to get “breaking news” before another, there are too many assumptions, “mays,” and “coulds” before real “facts” are discovered. 

This comic strip also made me think about some interesting differences between news in print and televised news.  When one is writing a news article (while they will undoubtedly have a deadline) they still have some time to verify information and confirm things with multiple sources.  On televised news, frequently, there is no time for this to be done. 

I think it’s important for us to realize these differences and to understand that news stations and papers do want to make money and get good ratings.  We should not just believe what we see/read/hear as readers/viewers or even more as journalists.  I think many of us are annoyed when the news focuses too much on one topic, sensationalizes things too much, or assumes things, realizing that, we can try not to do these things ourselves. 

Read what my classmates have to say about the comic. 


Jessie Krehlik said:

Good point about the differences between print and broadcast journalism. While I think both have both positive and negative qualities about them, I think that both are essential for our society. At the same time, I do feel that print journalism is always more reliable, if only because they do have that extra time to check sources. Newspapers have fact-checkers on staff simply for that purpose. How many times have we seen people deny statements made on the media? Nevertheless, there is a certain benefit to allowing viewers to see entire interviews rather than tidbits within newspapers. It is rather unfortunate that reporters can still take liberty with their quotes and shape them to fit the story as they see fit.

Leave a comment

Type the characters you see in the picture above.