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    If You Ran A News Organization, What Would You Do Differently?

    Dan Gillmor, director of the
    Knight Center for Digital Media, has issued 22
    new rules for news organizations
    . He offers up his edicts as
    weapons against lazy and unimaginative journalism. Here are four of
    my favorites:

    – Transparency would be a core element of our journalism. One
    example of many: every print article would have an accompanying box
    called “Things We Don’t Know,” a list of questions our
    journalists couldn’t answer in their reporting. TV and radio stories
    would mention the key unknowns. Whatever the medium, the
    organisation’s website would include an invitation to the audience to
    help fill in the holes, which exist in every story.

    – We would replace PR-speak and certain Orwellian words and
    expressions with more neutral, precise language. If someone we
    interview misused language, we would paraphrase instead of using
    direct quotations. (Examples, among many others: The activity that
    takes place in casinos is gambling, not gaming. There is no death
    tax, there can be inheritance or estate tax. Piracy does not describe
    what people do when they post digital music on file-sharing
    networks.)

    – If we granted anonymity and learned that the unnamed source had
    lied to us, we would consider the confidentially agreement to have
    been breached by that person, and would expose his or her duplicity,
    and identity. Sources would know of this policy before we published.
    We’d further look for examples where our competitors have been
    tricked by sources they didn’t name, and then do our best to expose
    them, too.

    – Beyond routinely pointing to
    competitors
    , we would make a special effort to cover and follow
    up on their most important work, instead of the common practice today
    of pretending it didn’t exist. Basic rule: the more we wish we’d done
    the journalism ourselves, the more prominent the exposure we’d give
    the other folks’ work. This would have at least two beneficial
    effects. First, we’d help persuade our community of an issue’s
    importance. Second, we’d help people understand the value of solid
    journalism, no matter who did it.

    What would you do differently?

    Source: Guardian

    Published on Oct 5, 2009

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