Journalistic views from Scott Pelley

CBS EVENING NEWS with SCOTT PELLEY  inaugural newscast 6/6/2011.  CBS photo by John Filo ©2011 CBS BROADCASTING INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVEDScott Pelley’s speech was great. It was extremely informative and well thought out. During his speech, he brought up his beliefs regarding the importance of journalism ethics in the age of digital journalism.

“Our house is on fire. We didn’t didn’t build this house. It was built by Fred Friendly and A.O. Sulzberger and Harrison Sulzberry and Ida Tarbell who came before us, who build this magnificent mansion we call American journalism. But today, right now, we occupy this house that was built for us, our house is on fire.”

Pelley continues to explain that these have been a rough few months for journalism because we’re getting the big stories wrong, time and time again. Journalists tend to latch onto the first idea they hear, even if it’s untrue. He was right to point out that the U.S. has the best journalism, but our strategies weigh us down.

It’s ok not to be the first news outlet to report a story because Pelley explained that “if you’re first, no one will ever remember. If you’re wrong, no one will ever forget.” Reporting accurate information is a thousand times more important than being first and reporting inaccurate information.

Pelley’s insight on this matter was needed and just because it’s been a rough couple of months, doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.

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One Response to Journalistic views from Scott Pelley

  1. Kyle says:

    I’m not sure if it’s true that no one remembers if you’re first. There’s a reason newsrooms try to be first. The audience might not be conscious of this bias. The other theory is that newsrooms are mistaken to think that being first is important. Which do you think is the case?

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