This post was edited by matt605 at 2012-3-19 10:31|
The criticism of Apple's Chinese manufacturer, Foxconn, assures that no further criticism of Apple or its suppliers will gain traction in the United States.
In the New York Times, their media reporter explained why such hoaxes will persist,
"There is nothing in the journalism playbook to prevent a determined liar from getting one over now and again. It is partly because seekers of truth expect the same from others."
These statements run contrary to what I learned in high school journalism.
Everything I was taught in high school about journalism is that it's not built on trusting sources. It's built on readers trusting news organizations, and news organizations trusting reporters, and reporters not even trusting their own knowledge of how to correctly spell the name "Smith" or"Smyth" or "Smythe."
I cannot agree that good editing, good fact-checking, and free plagiarism software will not stop a hoaxer. All of these things do stop intentional misconduct every day, even at the junior high school level. If good news were like a business expense, then we would expect to see many verifications and approvals in a process that takes a story from idea to distribution to millions of people at an expense of millions of dollars.
There is a lesson to be learned here for reporters, but it's not one that should be learned: it is trust only those sources who are referred to you through Ivy-league social contacts. These sources will have the good sense to not exaggerate, but instead allow the journalist to do the promoting. Where the big news won't sell a book or fill a seat, other factors like coolness and identity can. The source must however trust the journalist to package the book or show for the news organization's circulation base. If a problem on factualness later develops, then the social infrastructure that brought source and journalist together can successfully manage the issue through a walk-backprocess if ever so necessary. The Ivy-league investigative journalist who uncovers half-empty vending machines because the low in-factory prices encourage hoarding is preferred to the upstart whose claims could be unsubstantiated regardless of their ultimate truthfulness.
As it is, it will be a long time before anyone criticizes Apple again, wrongly or rightly.