Counteracting Rumors

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From Chapter 35 of The News Manual:

“You have a role to play, in providing information to counteract rumour.”

As this chapter points out there is a very distinct difference between reporting in a big city and in a small town.  I come from a small town, just counting the borough itself (and not the township, which includes many smaller places), there are about 6,000 people who live there.  Needless to say, this means that when anything happens almost everyone knows the people who are involved.  Furthermore, this means there are lots of rumors about the situation and people involved that circulate.  It’s hard to know what is true after a story has been repeated about 10 times.  How much is exaggerated, how much has changed through the retelling.  It’s almost like an out-of-control version of the game “telephone.”  Therefore, I really like how in this chapter it is stressed that part of a journalist’s role is to “counteract rumor.”  It is important for a news writer to realize this, because it heightens the importance of providing an accurate portrayal of the story.  One cannot just rely on interviewing one or two people (who knows what biases they might have), nor can the reporter let personal bias influence them at all.  It is their role, obligation, and job to report things accurately. 

Return home.      


Richelle Dodaro said:

I think you've made a good point, Greta, when you say that more than 2 people should be interviewed so bias doesn't play a part in the story. This is important with any news story, but I think it's especially important in crime. I liked how you related it to the "telephone" game. The comparison is so true sometimes.

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