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Archive for January 17th, 2013

In the discussion of journalists’ failures in the Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax, I have suggested that journalists should have looked for an obituary of the purported girlfriend. And that has raised some questions about how obituaries and death notices are handled by newspapers today.

A comment by Rob Pegoraro on my post earlier today and tweets by Maureen Boyle have raised questions about whether everyone has an obituary (responding to Rob, I acknowledge that it probably happens, but say that at least a death notice usually gets published).

(The link above is to a piece by the late Jim Naughton, A Death Notice for Obituaries, written in 2010, which prompted a response from me.) (more…)

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Last year I blogged about four reasons linking is good journalism. Make it five.

Journalists who practice thorough linking to provide context and attribution for their stories (two of the four reasons I cited) would have learned pretty quickly that crucial facts about Manti Te’o‘s purported girlfriend couldn’t be verified.

Or journalists following Craig Silverman‘s advice on using an accuracy checklist (or using my checklist, adapted from Craig’s) would have found lots of red flags and no verification. (I’ll concentrate on linking here, but I see points on both of our checklists that might have helped a journalist see that something was wrong.)

If you care about accuracy in journalism and if you want to see an excellent example of journalism (exposing several shameful examples of journalism), read the Deadspin investigation of the Notre Dame football star’s fictitious girlfriend. (more…)

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