How journalism works

The nonsense, made-up, article in the Scottish Daily Record (see Inventing Quotes and News) has made its way onto the Asia News International (or is it the other way round? And anyway, who gives a monkey's?) As a result, the same invented quotations have been attributed to me by Daily India, Mumbai Mirror, Medical Health Articles, OneIndia, SmasHits, India4u. Some of the sites claim that the copyright rests with ANI. Well I piously hope that the Scottish Daily Record and ANI might have fun fighting over that. I will not be claiming any rights to be the author of the quotations; but that "Vatican spokesman" bit - I like that - maybe I could just let it run... :-)

Interesting, isn't it? Some people are terribly worried about the new media - blogs and the like. They assume that the old mainstream paper news is trustworthy and accurate. With the internet on the other hand, they fear because anyone can write anything they like: all sorts of inaccuracies can abound.

The truth is that the old media often shows itself to be unreliable, ill-disciplined and unwilling to carry out even the most elementary research to find out the truth. Blogs, forums and other internet publishing media have commenters who will hold them to account. To retain credibility they must be open to correction, ready to admit mistakes and correct them. They stand far more accountable to the public, reducing rather than increasing viral nonsense.

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