Abe Epton writes about why “people interested in code and civic society should really think about joining a newspaper — yes, a newspaper (or any media outlet) — in 2013.” The energy, the immediacy, the noise. He’s helping design the news of the future.
Duh, so that’s why I like Richard Powers’ books so much. The simple term is “Lab Lit.” It means works of fiction that get the science right *and* the story. I teach students that effective science writing often involves a main character. In journalism, that character is a real person. In Lab Lit, the authors get to make up the people.
The story came from chat room to newsroom to correction. In Introduction to Journalism class at Illinois, students learn “The essence of journalism is a discipline of verification” (from “The Elements of Journalism” by Bill Kovach & Tom Rosenstiel).
The discipline includes the practice of doing one’s own, original reporting, and that would include tracking down the source of the information to judge the veracity of the report. The link above shows the Twitter route of the reports.
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.
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.