Accuracy is critical in news stories. Journalists need to provide information that is correct, and not exaggerate the truth. Ethical standards also must be met when reporting a news story. There have been issues with journalists breaching that trust. Journalists need to be trusted, but it’s up to the reader to decide whether the stories they read are the real deal.
The first principle of journalism according to The Pew Center for Excellence in Journalism at Journalism.org, a journalist’s first obligation to tell the truth. In a country that has a democratic government, its citizens depend on reliable facts to understand the story fully. Lyn Lepre, an associate professor at Marist College, discusses the importance of accuracy in journalism.
Accuracy is intertwined with journalism ethics. As a journalist, you have the obligation to follow a specific set of guidelines. The Society of Professional Journalists says that journalists should be honest and truthful when reporting information.
There have been instances where journalists haven’t been truthful in explaining how they got their stories. In a story covered by MediaMatters.org, ethics were breached during the Casey Anthony trial because ABC News paid Anthony money to cover her story. This business relationship went on for two years before being disclosed to the public.
To retain credibility, journalists must verify the accuracy of information in order to be able to write an accurate story. Readers, too, bear a responsibility to think critically about their news sources and to demand accurate reporting.