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Accuracy

Lucig H. Danielian


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Journalists operate under an ethic that includes a respect for truth as demonstrated by the accuracy of the information delivered to the public ( Sartori 1987 ). On the basis of that accuracy, it is assumed, public opinion is formed in a democracy. Accuracy is closely related to the journalistic norms of fairness and objectivity and to the credibility of producers of news (→  Fairness Doctrine ; Objectivity in Reporting ; Journalists, Credibility of ). The “mirror” metaphor for the journalistic norm of the accurate reflection of facts may be popular among journalists, but every mirror reflects some distortion ( Romano 1986 ; Ettema and Glasser 1998 ). In news production, deadlines and time constraints can distort accuracy (→  Reality and Media Reality ). Schudson (1978) provides a history of how American journalism came to rely on news based on facts and accurate information in the era of the →  penny press. Competition among rival newspapers allowed the public to compare news accounts for accuracy in reporting. The competition for a broad audience through advertisers moved American newspapers away from a party press format, in which opinion is supreme, with the dependence of multiple newspapers on wire services also promoting news based on facts and not opinion (→  Partisan Press ; News Agencies ). By the end of the nineteenth century, editors were very much focused on the ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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