Do we need editors? Mathew Ingram asks, and plenty of folks weigh in
A collection of the interesting replies and discussions that emerged from a journalist asking, "Why do we need editors
- Here's the question that kicked everything off.
- — Mathew Ingram (@mathewi)Fri, May 25 2012 10:56:29This will be an unpopular question, but why do we need editors? If "news as a process" is a reality, why not commit errors in public?
- — Mathew Ingram (@mathewi)Fri, May 25 2012 10:57:09When bloggers and Twitter journalists like @acarvin make mistakes, they own up to them and correct them in real time -- isn't that better?
- Right away, replies started to flow in. Here's what some people said about why we need editors, and about correcting errors in public.
- — Craig Silverman (@CraigSilverman)Fri, May 25 2012 10:58:30@mathewi One issue is the lack of standards accross journalists and orgs. Some are ethical and responsive. Some are not. Backstopping helps.
- — Amy Gahran (@agahran)Fri, May 25 2012 10:59:02.@mathewi I believe in correcting errors in public, bcz they're inevitable -- but they also propagate fast, so fact-checking at least helps
- — David Dobbs (@David_Dobbs)Fri, May 25 2012 10:59:07@mathewi bc the good ones make story not just more accurate, but richer, funner, deeper; not just better, but different better.
- — Aurelia Cotta (@AureliaCotta)Fri, May 25 2012 10:59:08@mathewi depends on the size of the error. Even the most brilliant writers need sounding boards, feedback, fresh eyes, no?
- — Ryan Lawler (@ryanlawler)Fri, May 25 2012 10:59:34
- — alexismadrigal (@alexismadrigal)Fri, May 25 2012 11:00:37
- — Curt Woodward (@curtwoodward)Fri, May 25 2012 11:01:40@mathewi Sometimes the stakes are far too high. Calling an election? Reporting national security secrets? Uncovering criminal activity?
- Then Mathew gave me a nice compliment.
- — Mathew Ingram (@mathewi)Fri, May 25 2012 11:01:03but all we need is people like you to hold journalists' feet to the fire, @CraigSilverman -- and then it is done publicly for all to see
- Which I kind of rejected (nicely!).
- — Craig Silverman (@CraigSilverman)Fri, May 25 2012 11:02:34.@mathewi BUT I'M ONLY ONE MAN! Seriously, though: we should have better accountability structures than one blogger.
- — David Cohn (@Digidave)Fri, May 25 2012 11:03:47
- My Poynter colleague Andrew Beaujon then had a bit of fun with that.
- — Andrew Beaujon (@abeaujon)Fri, May 25 2012 11:05:05
- But back to some more serious stuff. Mathew and Globe and Mail editor Lisan Jutras, who was speaking for herself, had an interesting exchange about reader expectations.
- — Lisan Jutras (@lisanjutras)Fri, May 25 2012 10:58:21@mathewi Because the illusion of professionalism is necessary for ppl to trust your product. This applies across many sectors.
- — Lisan Jutras (@lisanjutras)Fri, May 25 2012 10:59:28@mathewi With "high-end" products, the consumer & producer are complicit in wanting to believe the company's infallibility.
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