Monday, August 13, 2007

Accuracy, truth and fairness

"You and what you're about represent the future of journalism -- the future of quality journalism," John Seigenthaler (at left) told the group today. Seigenthaler, founder of the First Amendment Center and a longtime journalist, shared his story of "Wikipedia and Me" -- how inaccurate biographical information was published on the online collaborative encyclopedia. Seigenthaler called journalism a continuing search for truth. He encouraged the group to ensure that the culture of online represents the values -- accuracy, truth and fairness -- that have guided print journalism.

"The only thing we have to sell," Al Tompkins said after Seigenthaler's presentation, "is truth telling." Tompkins of The Poynter Institute shared Web sites that can be used as reporting resources. But he cautioned the group about being careful when checking sites for sourcing. Use sites such as Facebook as a starting point. Sites should be used "as a clue, not an answer. There is no substitute for contacting the individual."

-- Kate Kennedy

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