Star Tribune Op-ed Editor: Journalism needs to go back to the basics, fact check and verify

"Journalism doesn't need to discover anything new."

Chad Hartman
January 23, 2019 - 2:53 pm

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The trustworthiness of the media has once again be in the forefront of the public conversation following questions around the accuracy of a Buzzfeed News report on the Russia investigation, and then again this week, with the story of the encounter between students of a Catholic boys school and a Native American man at march in Washington, D.C.

According to Star Tribune Op-Ed Commentary Editor and columnist D.J. Rice, the issues with those stories reflect larger challenges facing the media today.

“We are in an era where it is quite common for people in our trade to proceed to speculate on the meaning, and the fallout and the ultimate consequences of events that may very well turn out to be nothing, altogether false, or just misunderstandings,” he told WCCO Radio’s Chad Hartman during the Playing Politics segment on Wednesday.

RelatedMueller's office says BuzzFeed report inaccurate

Hartman said part of the problem is that people don’t keep up with the facts as stories evolve.

“A lot of people just want to hear the part of the story that they want to hear and they're done. Where are we going with that combination of social media, traditional journalism, as tribe related as we are right now, to convince people to keep pursuing this story when it looks like most of them don't want to do that?” he asked.

John Rash, also an op-ed commentary editor and columnist at The Star Tribune, said journalists need to abide by the fundamental values of their trade.

“You know, I think that journalism doesn't need to discover anything new. It needs to rediscover what it formerly was better at... which is getting all the facts and giving the story a little bit of time…  

‘I think that wiser counsel for everyone involved, and certainly for fellow members of the media, would be to be able to report the story, verify it, fact check it and then come forward with your analysis,” Rash added.

The segment also covered the latest on the government shutdown and possible scenarios for the State of the Union speech. Listen here: