We Cannot Live in a World of #Fake News
I learned pretty quick how careful we need to be about rushing to report news without re-reading it first. I’m not even talking about something that may not be exactly truthful, or is totally untruthful, which we see more often these days, I’m talking about a mix up of wording or outright word stealing, which can toss you into plagiarism, libel, slander or worse,.
What happens when you “rip and read” directly from a newspaper or wire story, you’ve not paid for, or gotten permission from? Total outright plagiarism!
I recently hired someone who sounded great (on the demo). Once we got closer to their start date, it seemed they might be out of their league with pulling news and totally rewriting stories. I’m also a big believer in intuition. My intuition told me this person was in over their head.
The night before this new person was supposed to start on the job, AM Drive, with my company, they called and woke me up from a deep sleep to tell me they had no clue how to get their news to my very new client, yeeeps! Where did the notes go from the 2 hours talk/walk-thru we had just a couple days before? Why are you waiting until the night (read: last minute) before to inform me you weren’t quite sure what you were doing? I still knew, this was not going to work, but I gave the anchor a try. I have a heart. I can’t outright can someone, even though others have advised me to be more disciplined in this regard.
The next morning I asked the anchor for their news because the client complained, said it sounded slow, was too short and they wanted someone new. I listened and it sure as heck sounded pitched down, AND worse, newspaper speak. As I prepared to write a note to the anchor to tell them to write more conversationally, it dawned on me to transcribe a sentence and google it. Sure enough, word for word, it popped up, in a newspaper article. They had ripped and read. Ugh.
It’s been ten years since I started Remote News Service. I’ve had my share of people totally ripping off entire sentences, or entire stories, they have not lasted long. We cannot live in a world with #fakenews, when we can’t dig deep and write our own, what business do we have being in this business? I think the current climate shows us that we must be more careful and we must dig deeper and report the truth. Whatever our source is, we owe it to ourselves, and the public, to dig ever deeper to make sure if something doesn’t seem true, we need to investigate.
Don’t you agree?