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Don’t believe everything you read: Why journalism still matters

By Katie Parsons

In an earlier post, Leo Valiquette wrote about the rise in incidents of plagiarism among high-profile journalists. Leo contends that the timing of this increase is no accident; forgetting ethics that were learned in Journalism 101 is part of a larger cultural shift stretching professionals too thin. With newspapers, magazines and broadcast entities operating with skeleton staff and individuals being asked to do more online, it is no wonder that facts appear to be falling through the cracks.

Many journalists are not happy with the current state of things. Dozens of staff at the Chicago Tribune recently sent a petition to newsroom editor Gerould Kearn asking him — begging him — to do what he could to convince executives to discontinue the use of the content creation company Journatic. The Tribune had farmed out nearly all of its suburban coverage to the data mill, whose own executive talked publicly about how reporters simply do not need to live in the communities that they cover. He offended a few journalists in the process and then proved his own statement wrong.

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