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Dan Jacob

CEO , The IDIA Group

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Should newspapers be truth vigilantes?

Arthur Brisbane, Public Editor for the New York Times wrote an interesting article OpEd today (January 12, 2012) asking "Should the New York Times Be a Truth Vigilante?"

The article can be found here: http://publiceditor.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/12/should-the-times-be-a-truth-vigilante/

In a time where people are being bombarded with information, what role (if any) should newspapers play in correcting un-informed, egregiously inaccurate statements? What implications would this have?

To quote Brisbane:

"...[People] look to The [New York] Times to set the record straight. They worry less about reporters imposing their judgment on what is false and what is true.
Is that the prevailing view? And if so, how can The Times do this in a way that is objective and fair? Is it possible to be objective and fair when the reporter is choosing to correct one fact over another? Are there other problems that The Times would face that I haven’t mentioned here?"

Interested to hear your thoughts on this one...

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  • Jan 14 2012: Responding to Mr. Brisbane's question, "Is it possible to be objective and fair when a reporter is choosing to correct one fact over another?" All critical thinking separates facts from beliefs where facts are indisputable and all who view agree. Facts are, therefore, objective. A reporter cannot correct one fact over another, but a reporter can correct inaccurate beliefs by introducing facts. It seems too many reporters stoke inaccurate beliefs by failing to dig for the facts, omitting facts altogether, or introducing their own beliefs into their report of events.

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