The Truth Be Told, I Hope This Is Accurate

By McKerral, Mac | The Quill, January/February 2013 | Go to article overview

The Truth Be Told, I Hope This Is Accurate


McKerral, Mac, The Quill


TRUTH REMAINS the journalistic trump card, and accuracy is the foundation for truth. So my teaching involves trying to get students to value truth and accuracy.

During the past few weeks, several truth and accuracy threads have cropped up for me. Sewing these threads together entails connecting "old journalism" and "new journalism."

When it comes to accuracy and the larger goal of truth telling, there is no difference.

My news editing class gets an exercise in fact checking. The class must vet 1 0 "facts." Students also must explain how they verified accuracy. The students do not do well. That's a fact.

The class assignment thread connects with a Qand-A with Steve Coll, journalist and author. In a Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy "research chat," Coll refers to the "fact-checking movement."

My first reaction:" Is there a fact-checking movement?"

So, I did what my students would do, a Google search: "fact-checking movement." It drew 28.1 million hits, including an article posted the day before I wrote this column from the American Journalism Review with the headline, "The Fact-Checking Explosion."

How did I miss a "movement" much less an "explosion," I thought.

Meanwhile, Coll talks about process with regard to achieving accuracy and truth, a process that takes time.

Coil's words: "(Journalists) have to do that ping-pong thing: You have to talk to people and ask about what to read, then read, and then go back and talk with more people. You have to go back and forth."

Yes, achieving truth and accuracy often requires taking time, and that is not a world journalists and journalism students live in. That's a fact.

The Coll thread connects to another Shorenstein Center research chat with Alison Head, executive director of Project Information Literacy, who studies how students find and use information in the digital age. Her words: "Yet, these online searching techniques are simply not enough. As we face the challenges of educating today's students, we need to recognize that not all learning solutions are found online - and never will be. In the race to bring ever more technology into the classroom, we need to dial back and make sure students are also being taught old-school methods of communication and research that were second nature to previous generations."

Yes, sometimes accuracy and truth are more easily discovered using "old school" techniques that as educators we might overlook or even abandon in the name of "digitalism." That's a fact.

The thread from Alison Head connects to a Jan. 4 oped piece in the Louisville Courier-Journal by Edward Wasserman, Washington and Lee University Knight Professor of Journalism and Ethics. Wasserman wrote about the initial reporting on the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Truth Be Told, I Hope This Is Accurate
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.