Response to my post about aggregation merits a follow-up post on three points: verification, a comment I made about the Associated Press and the timing of blog posts.
Someone asked about where verification fit into aggregation, or suggested that it should be added as a step or a way that we add value when we aggregate.
I don’t think an aggregator needs to verify every point from a source you aggregate from. For instance, in yesterday’s post, which aggregated several links, I did not verify that Media General sold 63 newspapers to Warren Buffett. I had seen the number in several other pieces I had read and I used it in my aggregation of Dan Conover’s blog post about the purchase without verifying the number from the Media General announcement or the Media General website. I also didn’t check Dan’s math on the average cost for each of the newspapers, though it looked right using round numbers in my head.
I do think aggregation requires some assessment of the trustworthiness of the sources you’re aggregating from. If you trust the sources, attribute to them and link to them, I think that should suffice. Taking the time to independently verify every fact from sources you attribute to would limit how much you can aggregate. Just as aggregation has value, I believe trust has value and the work of other journalists and news sources has value. If you’ve attributed to a trustworthy source, I think you can aggregate without independent verification. (more…)