The journalist before the data
3 steps to make meaningful journalism.
Author: P. Fernando Pascual, L.C | Source: Catholic.net
A lot of news is set up through a simple process. Certain information Arrives. They are selected, elaborated, reordered, according to the points considered most relevant or according to the ideas of the journalist. Then the final product comes to people.
What surprises in many of these processes is the absence of a serious effort to control data, to verify information, to contrast opinions, to question possibly manipulated aspects.
Why is this happening? Normally, in haste: Just a new data arrives, everyone runs to get the "scoop", to make the news known before the other media.
Other times, some journalists are very interested in what they can get out of a data to defend certain ideas, to extol (or denigrate) specific people, while they leave aside the accuracy, even the veracity, of this data that begins to turn over the internet and many media outlets.
Thank God, there are other journalists and people who are seriously interested in the information world that in the coming of new data begin to investigate from a series of more or less systematic procedures.
The first procedure is obligatory in certain cases, and it is to ask: are we faced with a false fact, a manipulation, a lie, an invented phrase? Surprise to see how certain "fake news" revolve for hours (even for days, months, and even years) without having had enough attention to stop them at the beginning.
The second must always be applied: to control the accuracy of the details, the accuracy of the sentences attributed to specific persons, the faithful contextualization of those phrases, and the opening to accommodate other perspectives and viewpoints on the matter in question.
The third is born from the conscience of the person who produces the information of having his ideas (there is no neutral journalist), which allows, when organizing them, to distinguish between the data (on the one hand) and the valuations (on the other) that one tends to do, to Do not consciously or unconsciously manipulate readers.
This third procedure will lead the honest journalist to offer readers or listeners a clear separation between the facts (to be offered in the best possible way) and the personal appraisals themselves. Readers Will then assess whether or not they share such valuations, but at least appreciate the frankness of those who express their separated preferences of the data.
More aspects could Be added. The Important Thing is to promote healthy forms of journalism in which "data" does not revolve without the necessary verification controls, nor are they manipulated according to subjective preferences of the information agent.
In these healthy forms of journalism, there will be seriousness, calmness to control every information that arrives, and sincere and honest recognition of one's preferences, so that people can then accept or reject them maturely.