If you feel a news story does not measure up to expected journalistic standards, bring it to the Journalism Dry Cleaner. Through our collective wisdom, we will strip it of all offensive dirt.




Thursday, 23 April 2015


Sources can either be direct providers of news, or indirect providers of information that can lead to big news, or even misleading news. And yet this is a gamble, almost all news organisations have to continue taking. The end result can be embarrassment, or even legal suits, arising out of publishing inaccurate information. So, sourcing resources, should not just lead to saucy stories.

Confirmation of key facts has never stopped being an important pillar of journalism.

However, the decision to publish or broadcast a story is often not determined by the availability of conclusive facts.

The juicy details of a story, (well aligned with driving up newspaper sales perhaps?), at times can't wait for comprehensive due diligence, given the fickle nature of news.

That's why a right of reply must always be accorded to those adversely mentioned.

But one could rightly expect that a person mentioned in a story, should be contacted, before the story is published, to either confirm the details or give their own side.

The only problem then is that, a whole complement of obstacles could arise, ranging from court injunctions, non-cooperative news sources, decoys, to even the killing of stories.

This is often after the intervention of internal higher forces in the managerial or editorial chain of command, acting on pressure/inducement from external 'sources' with vested interests

So you either choose to publish and be damned, or hold the damnation and have no news for your target audience.

There is though, a small time-tested principle advocating for the use of multiple sources, to corroborate details of a story, before going to press.

To go ahead and publish the fact that a story was based on a single 'reliable' source... is self-incriminating, and counter-indicative of the credibility of a news organisation.

Now that is a 'source' of concern!.

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