Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The End of Straight Reporting? 

This article on the Associated Press is interesting because it reveals that the AP is moving away from just-the-facts reporting. The AP has reasons for what it is doing, but the question arises whether PR should follow. The answer, it seems to me, is no. PR should hew to just-the-facts presentations of story ideas to the media.

PR works in a different context. Reporters assume that practitioners lie. Hence, practitioners have to make extra efforts to present story ideas buttressed with facts. We don't get the latitude that journalism can take. There is an irony here, however, in that PR could become the protector of accuracy in ways that journalism no longer does. Although that is highly unlikely, it is still good to think about.

There is one thing that the AP is doing that is helpful -- accountability journalism. The wire service is going back to check on what politicians promised and whether they kept those promises. That is in the best tradition of just-the-facts reporting.


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