Changing view of truth

Essay by isabellamargaretCollege, UndergraduateA+, November 2007

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The concept of what is considered to be the truth has changed drastically throughout history. One idea that stuck out to me is the oral notion of truth. It has come full circle since the advent of television. Simply put, people believe what they see. I think that this statement puts a lot of pressure on reporters, especially those on television. It is the reporter’s responsibility to report the truth and only the truth. It is not fair to the public if they are being fed false information. The public has a right to know the facts as the reporter sees them. Sometimes reporters don’t always get all of their facts straight, which is fine. We are all human. It is the duty of the reporter to set things right after the fact.

The world is far from perfect. The reality is, not everyone reporter is truthful and ethical. In cases like Jason Blair, it becomes the responsibility of the organization to step up and try to fix the problem.

I think that the New York Times did the only thing they could do by publishing all of the corrections. There is the controversy as to why they didn’t publish the corrections earlier, but they way I see it; it was better late than never.

The Blair incident was one of the extreme cases that you hear about. Most often, it is the little bits of information that go unnoticed. Reporters get the facts wrong all the time. What’s important is whether or not the mistake was innocent, or done on purpose for ratings. I have been paying close attention to the Madelyn McCann story, about the four-year-old girl that is missing. Recently, I read numerous stories that stated that there was blood found in the trunk of a rental car that was a 100% match. It wasn’t too long after that the reporters came forward and made the correction that it was only in fact an 80% match. 20% is a huge difference, especially when you are talking about the possible murder of a young child. I think that reports got wind of this information and acted too quickly. A 100% match makes the story more appealing to read, but it isn’t the truth. This all ties back to the fact that it is the reporter’s responsibility to report the truth