How could you screw this up?

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Thread: How could you screw this up?

  1. #1

    How could you screw this up?

    Journalistic integrity, does such a thing even exist? I don't know how many of you have any experience with dealing with journalists, mine is a limited interaction with them as an elected official a handful of times during my life. Most of the time they got the gist of the story and screw up a 'few' facts.

    I recently competed in a Spartan Race, "a run through the woods and over obstacles" with both my kids. I wrote about it in my blog here on the site, posted it on my facebook page, and the blog section of the racing forums. I also sent a letter to the editor at the local paper to see if they had any interest in the story, it was 2500 words with pictures, lots of local references and it was a feel good kind of story. Being a writer I added enough details to make the information both informative and interesting. I live in a small town, this was a feel good kind of story. After contacting the paper they responded with a interest and asked that I send the a copy of the story I wrote for my blog. "it is here if your interested but not really important" It contained the details, it contained all of the information about, who what and where. The Editor of the paper asked a couple of more questions, mostly about my kids and for the official times at the end of the race. He said it was long in the word count,so I told them to edit as needed to fit their requirements for space.

    Instead of a story written by me the paper ran a story where it appears that a reporter interviewed me and often referred to some things as "Brown Wrote."

    The screwed up part.
    They had all the information yet still made a lot of mistakes or assumptions that were false. In his effort to rewrite the story he added information that was out right wrong. He listed me as a owner of a competitors company, a fierce one at that. He messed up on the basic details of the race and made up things that were inaccurate. He got a bunch of the basics wrong when it came to the details of both how the race was run and the results. Considering that it was all in front of him in writing I can't even blame it on poor notes or the excitement of witnessing the event in real time and having to scribble notes on a piece of paper.

    The conclusion is that if you base your opinions on the information from one source, there is a good chance you are getting the wrong information. At what point as a writer do you have an obligation to get the facts straight. Does it even really matter in the business of selling advertising space.

  2. #2
    The local newspaper runs articles on our chess club from time to time. They can usually be counted on to get at least one of our names wrong! Still, the publicity's the main thing, for me at least.



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