Saturday, February 21, 2009

"To The Fullest Extent Possible"

The push against the WaPo for running George Will's global warming denial column continues. Here are two good posts from that finest of science writers, Carl Zimmer: "George Will: Liberated From the Burden of Fact-Checking" and "The Sea Ice Affair, Continued."

I liked the way Zimmer finished up the latter one:

It’s easy to think of fact-checking as a luxury of old-time journalism, akin to three-martini lunches and business class flights. But if fact-checking is done right, it can make newspapers and magazines reliable and trusted–a distinction that may help them survive in these competitive times.

I've believed this for years -- the biggest selling point the newspapers will have going for them in this era of media transitions is the quality of their content, same as every other site online. I wish they'd stop thinking exclusively in terms of cost-cutting.

By the way, the title for this post is from the weasel-word-rich response from the WaPo's ombudsman, as noted by Zimmer, extracted and reported by Think Progress's Brad Johnson. Let it become the next Internet meme.

(h/t: Nate)


My previous posts on this topic, if you missed them: here, here, here, and here.

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