Why Verify?

When it comes to journalism verifying the facts of your story is one of the most important things you should do. When it is up to you to tell people what is going on in the world you need to be sure what you’re saying is true. Without verifying a story you could cause many problems for yourself, the news outlet you work for, and the people involved in the story.

One of the biggest examples of why you should always verify your stories is the case of ‘Rolling Stone’ and ‘A Rape on Campus.’ In this case the writer didn’t verify any of the “facts” she was given and ended up printing a fake story. By doing this she damaged the name of the college, the fraternity that was accused of housing the rapists, and the people in the victims friend group. While something did happen to the victim of the story, that is mostly where the facts end. If the writer responsible for this article had even just taken a moment to look at the story given to her she could have easily found out it was false.But since she did not do this, she caused a lot of trouble for herself and others.

If you are a true journalist your goal should always be to give people facts that they can trust, but if you let a perfect story slip by without making sure it is true, and then learn its almost completely false, you’ve lost your credibility. From that point on, if people see your name under an article they most likely wont think its true because of your previous mistake, and when you’re job is to tell people facts, you need to be trustworthy.