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Check List for accuracy, Balance & credibility

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Check List for accuracy, Balance & credibility

  1. 1. Acknowledgement First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to Mr. Prabal Raj Pokhrel (Associate Professor) of Tribhuvan University who gave me the opportunity to prepare this project work paper. His kind assistance was always open whenever I ran into a trouble spot or had a question about this work. He consistently allowed this paper to be my own work, but directed me in the right the direction whenever he thought I need it. Again, I am indebted to Mr. Yogesh Sapkota Chief Executive Officer of Green Park Chitwan for his encouragement to upgrade my academic qualification. Finally, I must express my very profound gratitude to my parents as well as my respected brother Mr. Madhav Dhakal, Sister In-law Kamala Dhakal for providing me with unfailing support and continuous encouragement throughout my years of study and through the process of writing this report. This accomplishment would not have been possible without them. I would like to thank my dear friend Miss Muna Pudasaini for giving me a plenty of space to prepare this Academic Report, it was a great comfort & reliefs while she willing to understand my situation. Moreover, I would like to thank my colleague Mr. Anil Bohara and my friend Miss Bijaya Mainali, who provided me with the missing information while preparing this project work. Thank you Amrit Dhakal
  2. 2. Tribhuvan University Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Central Department of Journalism & Mass Communication Master Level: First Semester Advanced Editing Code No: JMC 553 Submitted By: Submitted To: Amrit Dhakal Prabal Raj Pokhrel Roll No: 21 Associate Professor
  3. 3. Contents Topic Page no: Background : 01 Meaning of Accuracy : 02 Contributors of Accuracy : 03 Keeping notes and records on Balance : 03 Some handy tips of check Accuracy : 04 About Balance : 05 Credibility : 06 Appendix : 09 Bibliography : 10
  4. 4. Check List for accuracy, balance & credibility: Background To clearly elaborate these three terms accuracy, balance & credibility we should know about the little knowledge of the journalism. Simply, Journalism is the profession which provides the new message or information to the society. In other hand the term Journalism is the familiar with Mass communication. The term Journalism is derived from Latin language ‘Diurnum’ simply it means pertaining of the day. Besides that’s, some media experts also claim the term Journalism was came from the French language ‘de Jour’ which means of the day of daily works. In English we call it Journalism which clearly means daily job of the newspaper or any kinds of Mass communication mediums. With reference to the Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary (4th edition), Oxford: Oxford university press – 1992.) “Journalism means work of collecting, writing, editing & publishing material in newspaper & magazines or in Television or radio.” Like that, David Wainwright another expert of Journalism define like this way “Journalism is information. Journalism is communication. It is the events of the day distilled into a few words, sounds, or pictures, processed by the mechanics of communication to satisfy the human curiosity of a world that is always eager to know what’s new.” In general we can put these three terms as ABC forms of Journalism. Through the process of newswriting all journalists must apply these formula while they attempt to involve in the job. So we can say ABC is the key point of Journalism, which is stand for Accuracy, Balance & credibility. Though all reporters know that ABC (accuracy, balance & credibility) is the prime notion of journalism, many of them fail to implement it in their daily duty. Many news stories come to the news-desk either missing facts and figures or even lacking balance. There may be gap in information, names may be inadequately identified, technical terms may not be explained properly, or background information may be omitted. It is the duty of a copyeditor to well marshal the facts and present it logically. The overall content
  5. 5. should be made comprehensive and balanced. Inaccurate items are not wanted by any newspaper. Facts, figures, and quotes should be given accurately and in the context. Maximum effort should be made to make it truthful, fair and credible. Meaning of Accuracy: Accuracy is essential if journalism is to inform the public debate. Accuracy comes ahead of speed. If we are not sure, hold fire. Being first and wrong is not a model to aim for. Being right, always reliable and measured is. We need to be totally transparent in declaring what we know and what we don’t know. Those who trust you will be prepared to wait for your version. In fact they might use your coverage to check whether a hastily prepared item by a competitor has any truth in it. Caution is particularly needed if the topic is controversial. In such cases, too much haste can cause lasting damage to your news brand. Most major news providers require:  First-hand sources  Double-checking of facts  Validation of material submitted  Confirmation via two reliable sources  Corroboration of any claims or allegations made A media organization will be judged on the accuracy and reliability of its journalism, which must be well-sourced, supported by strong evidence, examined and tested, clear and unambiguous. Verified facts must form the basis of all news, not rumor and speculation. It is also important to have our own sources. Don’t just chase those used by others. They may not be reliable. Build our own network of trusted contacts and turn to those. We should apply the some essential elements while reporting the news & writing process they are as follows.
  6. 6. Contributors of Accuracy: Be cautious about people who are offered up to speak on an issue. They might be being promoted for a reason other than to accurately inform the public debate. We need to take care in order to examine the motives of those offering contributors and those offering to contribute. We don’t take for granted what we read on a third-party website. It might look professional and sound convincing, but that doesn’t mean it is true. If we copy material from an online site we are running a great risk, especially if we reproduce it word for word. It is fine to research information and check it out yourself, but you must never take as fact information that is published elsewhere. Unless know the person who created the material, and are absolutely sure they are genuine and honest, remain cautious until we have verified it. Or, if we feel we must refer to it, qualify and qualify again so that our audience is not led to think you are recommending the material as proven fact. When people turn to us they expect we to deliver facts. We can refer to material gathered elsewhere, but always qualify it by saying that this material is from another source, and state that source. It is also worth adding that we have not been able to verify the information given, if that is the case. Keeping notes and records on Accuracy Most reporters, when they start work for the first time, are given a notebook and told to keep it safe and never throw it away. We never know when we may have to refer to our notes as evidence in a legal case. Accurate note-taking is essential. The usual rule is that notes must not only be accurate, they must also be reliable and contemporaneous. That means that we need to have spoken to reliable sources at the time an incident happened, rather than just down from memory casual conversations long after the event. The latter is unlikely to stand up in a court of law. We will also need to keep records of the research we carried out in reaching our
  7. 7. conclusions. These should all be contained in our notebook, or, in the case of those using computers, in folders and files. Always keep a track of all bookmarks and email correspondence relating to our stories. However, where anonymity has been requested or where it is essential, make sure that our records do not identify those we have interviewed. Some handy tips of check Accuracy:  Use named sources wherever possible because they are responsible for the information they provide, even though we remain liable for accuracy, balance and legal dangers. Press your sources to go on the record.  Reuters will use unnamed sources where necessary when they provide information of market or public interest that is not available on the record. We alone are responsible for the accuracy of such information.  When talking to sources, always make sure the ground rules are clear. Take notes and record interviews.  Cross-check information wherever possible. Two or more sources are better than one. In assessing information from unnamed sources, weigh the source’s track record, position and motive. Use your common sense. If it sounds wrong, check further.  Talk to sources on all sides of a deal, dispute, negotiation or conflict.  Be honest in sourcing and in obtaining information. Give as much context and detail as you can about sources, whether named or anonymous, to authenticate information they provide. Be explicit about what you don’t know.  Reuters will publish news from a single, anonymous source in exceptional cases, when it is credible information from a trusted source with direct knowledge of the situation. Single-source stories are subject to a special authorization procedure.  A source’s compact is with Reuters, not with the reporter. If asked on legitimate editorial grounds, you are expected to disclose your source to your supervisor. Protecting the confidentiality of sources, by both the reporter and supervisor, is paramount.  When doing initiative reporting, try to disprove as well as prove your story.
  8. 8.  Accuracy always comes first. It’s better to be late than wrong. Before pushing the button, think how you would withstand a challenge or a denial.  Know your sources well. Consider carefully if the person you are communicating with is an imposter. Sources can provide information by whatever means available telephone, in person, email, instant messaging and text message. But be aware that any communication can be interfered with. In the Nepali context after the democratic movement of 2062/063 news Medias were popular in the grass level of Nepali society. But in fact, the media content were not the qualitative. Most of the media used to provide only basic information. The national level media houses were follow the basic rules but many media organization did not follow the basic rules. They just provided the information which already published or broadcasted news from the big house media organization. The largest selling English daily newspapers like The Kathmandu Post, The Himalayan Times & Republica national daily try to follow the basic rules & ethics. About Balance: While objectivity might be a fanciful flight, balance is not. Balance is the devil’s advocate and the lynchpin of credibility for our story. Without a balanced representation of all viewpoints, our story ends up serving the goals of those people we chose to interview rather than representing an accurate spectrum of opinion and dissent. One of the more difficult, and hotly debated, aspects of balance is that its necessities change story by story. Balancing one story may be as simple as asking a few students what they think of dining hall food. But often it’s more difficult than that. Balance means fair representation. If there is a voice of dissent or assent, they deserve to be represented in our story. There is an element of judgment to balance, though. Representing racist or homophobic views that are poorly informed on the topic of your article doesn’t serve to inform anyone. Our responsibility as a journalist extends to interviewing people who are knowledgeable in the field we are investigating, who are not reactionary message pushers, and who can legitimately debate issues at hand.
  9. 9. If the issue is the people use of fuel which provided by Nepal Oil Corporation, for instance, the primary sources that most reporters would zone in on are people’s using the fuel like petrol, a Consumer Help Conservative forum representative and the operator of the Petrol Pumps. These three sources would provide an interesting profile of the types of peoples who use these institutions but would not necessarily be a balanced story. To balance this story, we also need to interview other users of the Petrol. Do they feel that the peoples are sincere users? Have long-term users of the fuel noticed an increase in the number of peoples using the service? Has it changed the way they use the service? A reporter might also nationalize the story by contacting researchers at the Nepal Oil Corporation as well as peoples in other provinces who are facing similar problems. Balancing the story does not include interviewing someone who argues, without research and facts to back up their claims, that the only people who use fuels are lazy. Since research and survey work has shown that welfare recipients and the working people are the highest sector of fuel users in Nepal. Balancing a story involves asking the hard questions about who we are interviewing and the quality of their responses. Remember that when we interview someone, we are under no obligation to use that interview in our story. If our source clearly has no idea what they’re talking about, discount them and move on. Inform our readers through informed sources with a variety of backgrounds and concerns. Deciding How Many Newspapers and Stories to Study In this studying about the balance factors of some English daily newspapers, looking at a proportion of stories, overall structure, listings and content promotion. This allows a very thorough look at a newspaper in the most efficient way. The goal should be to select typical issues with a normal mix of coverage. Avoid monumental news events that radically change coverage, major holidays, extraordinary special sections or anything else that alters more than ten percent of content from the usual mix. For the Impact study I studied a final edition of the newspaper. Select whatever edition the audience would consider most typical of their coverage and make sure that we have all sections.
  10. 10. Credibility: There are several dimensions of credibility that affect how an audience will perceive the speaker: competence, extraversion, composure, character, and sociability. These dimensions can be related to French & Raven's five bases of power. These characteristics are fluid and affect each other as well as the speaker's transactional credibility. One dimension may strengthen the speaker’s credibility if they struggles in another. The audience can perceive these attributes through certain behaviors in which the speaker delivers results, is concise and direct with the audience members. If a speaker displays characteristics of honesty, integrity, sincerity, and can show that they are trustworthy and ethical, the audience will be more inclined to believe the message being communicated to them, even if they do not remember every aspect of the interaction. They will, however recall how the presenter made them feel how they took in the information and what they may share with others once the presentation has concluded. For instance, if a speaker presents the audience with a short clip and includes a witty joke at the conclusion of the video to drive the point home, members of the audience may only remember the joke. Although the joke may only be a small element of the entire speech, someone will recall it and share it with others and perhaps speak kindly of the speaker and wish to interact with that person again. Then promise to purchase product or feel inclined to tell anyone who will listen about what they learned. This is when terminal credibility comes into play, but is dependent on how well the speaker presented the information to the audience. Speakers must also present themselves to be likable since people are more inclined to trust those they generally like or feel comfortable with in a room. Being friendly, easy going, warmhearted, nice and kind can carry the speaker into a very comfortable space with the audience. Once the audience is at ease, the speaker can generally present their information, and it will be perceived positively. The late Dr. James C. Mc. Croskey (University of Alabama at Birmingham) was known for his research in the dimensions of source credibility. His scales for the measurement of source credibility have been widely used in communication research. He noted in his 1975 article, "Image of Mass Media News
  11. 11. Sources", that "the available scales for the measurement of source credibility should not be assumed to be universally applicable measures of source credibility." However, his research and his proposed scale from 1975 are still foundations for source credibility research. In Mc. Croskey's work, he further breaks down each dimension as follows. Competence Edit the measurement of competence is based on seven values. These values are as follows:  Qualification  Expertise  Reliability  Believability Openness (i.e. intellectual vs. narrow) value  Currency (i.e., informed vs. uninformed). Source Credibility is "a term commonly used to imply a communicator's positive characteristics that affect the receiver's acceptance of a message." Academic studies of this topic began in the 20th century and were given a special emphasis during World War II, when the US government sought to use propaganda to influence public opinion in support of the war effort. Psychologist Carl Hovland and his colleagues worked at the War Department upon this during the 1940’s and then continued experimental studies at Yale University. They built upon the work of researchers in the first half of the 20th century who had developed a Source-Message-Channel-Receiver model of communication and, with Muzafer Sherif, developed this as part of their theories of persuasion and social judgment. Source credibility theory is an established theory that explains how communication's persuasiveness is affected by the perceived credibility of the source of the communication. The credibility of all communication, regardless of format, has been found to be heavily influenced by the perceived credibility of the source of that communication. The idea of credibility was first derived from Aristotle who argued that the speaker’s reliability must be built and established in speech and that what the speaker did or said before such a speech was not of importance. Aristotle divided the aspects of persuasion into three categories.
  12. 12.  Ethos (credibility)  Pathos (emotion)  logos (logic) As credibility refers to people believing who they trust, emotion and logic indicate a person’s emotional connection and means of reasoning to convince one of a particular argument. The area of source credibility is studied for practical applications in communication, marketing, law, and political science. Appendix: 01 Up-to-date, factual, detailed, exact, comprehensive, audience and purpose reflect intentions of completeness and accuracy. News Setting: The Himalayan Times on 14th April 2016.
  13. 13. Bibliography  News Editing: Bruce Westley, New Delhi  Professional Journalism: M V Kamath  Mass Communication & Journalism: Nirmal Mani Adhikari  Advanced Journalism: Shreesha Bhandari  https://www.americanpressinstitute.org/journalism-essentials/what-is- journalism/  http://www.mediahelpingmedia.org/training-resources/editorial- ethics/237-the-importance-of-accuracy-in-journalism  http://handbook.reuters.com/?title=Accuracy

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