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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 22 2012: All people should pursue the truth to the greatest extent they are capable of it. Sources of news should list their facts and analysis and include their sources and apply the scientific principal to vetting "truth" by attempting to prove anything presented as a fact and opening up to public evaluation of their process of verification. That is the best approximation of truth I can imagine being possible at our current society, hopefully this too will evolve with the rest of our social evolution over time.

    This boils down to crowdsourcing news in the specific sense of crowdsourcing proof of the "truth" being presented by news. I would go further and say that any source of news that is not transparent about the process and open about sources and opposing information (not necessarily opinion) is at least disingenuous if not dishonest and should not be trusted as a source of "truth".

    When this topic closes if anyone is interested in persisting it please consider continuing the conversation here: http://www.wesolver.org/wiki/Crowdsourcing_News
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      Jan 22 2012: It's always easier to control--and socially condition--a misinformed (and disinterested) populace. Give the angry mob Superbowl, Nascar, and UFC; when you can keep them busy, and distracted, you are well on your way to running the USA the way it should be run. Those in power believe that the masses are too irresponsible to rule over their own lives, it's for the best if we leave those decisions to the experts. To effectively run a democracy, you need to have a news media that is subservient. The new news media of today is merely there to sensationalize scandal, and entertain--queue in the "infotainment".

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