If I could give Scott Pelley a high-five right now, I WOULD.
The points that he makes in his speech around beyond accurate, and that is what is sad.
He says that we live “in a world where everyone is a publisher, no one is an editor, and that is the danger that we face today.” Sadly, this is true. We live in a world where the average citizen publishes more content than a professional journalist does daily, and those average citizens do not have proper journalism training to know the difference of what is ethical content, and what is merely gossip.
He goes on to say that we live in a time where a writers first idea is his best idea, and a writer will report on the first thing she hears. Journalism has become nothing but timing. No longer do journalists strive to publish the best story, but the FIRST story. Breaking news has become whatever that news station heard first, not the actual facts of the case.
He refers to sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit as sources of gossip, but in today’s world, they’re seen as sources of journalism and news.
He quotes Fred Finley saying, “If you’re first, no one will ever remember. If you’re wrong, no on will ever forget.”
I think journalism needs to get back to this point of view. Journalists and news sites need to stop being obsessed with releasing the first story, but the most ACCURATE story.
Being a student journalist, it’s still important to check facts and make sure everything I’m publishing is accurate because that’s my name on that article. Unfortunately, I feel the older and more experienced journalists get, the less cautious they become of lying.
I think that the field of journalism needs to reevaluate the ethics journalists need to practice, otherwise, the credibility of journalism will slowly start to lose its value, and then there will be no purpose for the profession at all.