Verification was our topic in “Introduction to Journalism” this week at the University of Illinois. I told the students about a situation a former student had in which a person in line at a Campustown bar assumed another student’s name when he identified himself to her. After the story appeared on local television, the family of the “name” demanded an apology — and got one.
Most reporters don’t ask for a photo I.D. when interviewing people out in public. Maybe we should. The New York Times appears to have been badly stung — unverifiable names and a misspelling all in the same story. Here’s the link: For College Students, Social Media Tops the Bar Scene – NYTimes.com.
Endeavour and the Hollywood sign: How we got the photo – latimes.com.
A powerful lens from a long distance allows a shot that the naked eye might not see. We allow magnification to show microscopic life without calling it distortion. But when we use magnification in contexts we usually can see, it can really confuse us.
When It Comes To Buying Organic, Science And Beliefs Don’t Always Mesh : The Salt : NPR.
This National Public Radio story (7 min 47 sec) works on many levels.
— It explains that scientific studies have limits. They can only report on what was found, not on what was not or on the ramifications of the findings. They report only the findings.
— It uses a discussion format, rather than a narrative, to explain terms and concepts.
— It includes comments and questions from listeners.
— It helps define the terms. “Organic” has a regulated definition.
This CBS story gives the “Wheat Belly” doctor full control of the story. How legitimate are his claims about the ill effects of eating wheat? What would wheat growers or crop scientists say? What exactly is the history of the protein called gliadin? Is it new like the doctor says? These are the kinds of questions we need answered by journalists.