One of the biggest ethical issues in the journalism world would be to choose between getting a story first and getting it right. As difficult as it might be to make the “right” choice, there might not even be a right choice.
Fast, faster, always faster
Getting the story first means that you will be the first one to publish it, but it can also mean that you might not have every relevant information for your article, or you may be even have wrong information that would conduct to the misinformation of the public. Being the first to publish a paper also lead to push the accuracy into the background; so which one is more important? We live in a world of social media, where everyone tweet what is happening when it is happening. We live in a world were the influence of the web as never been greater. The Internet is what allowed the information to be expanded anywhere in the world in the shortest time; journalism has to follow that trend and adjust their way of working to be faster and faster.
Accuracy as Holy Grail of journalists
Does it still mean that speed has become a more important factor than accuracy? What if a journalist publish a story the first but get the fact wrong? He broke the trust with its readership and he misinformed the public at the same time, so what benefits is there to publish first when you know your facts are not verified? Margaret Sullivan from the New York Times said, “It is better to be slow and right – especially given the Times’ reputation as journalism’s gold standard”
I believe that speed is an important factor in current journalism, however it won’t overpass, like any other value, overpass the accuracy needed to do proper journalism. It doesn’t mean that you have to be completely slow, you have to be quick, but it must never become more important to publish story first than to verify every fact, information and sources in your article.
To learn more :
The example of the shooting of Newton school, Connecticut :