A few days ago I was about to post a review of the movie Pacific Rim. It's just as well I didn't, because I had it wrong. I had forgotten the golden rule of non-fiction writing. Do your Research.
The importance of this was highlighted to me again just today. When friends started posting a horrendously erronious, online report, of the Wellington tremor on the weekend. That's Wellington New Zealand by the way.
The report appeared in an online publication, guardianlv.com it placed all the towns mentioned in Australia, and even quoted a source, a newspaper, that doesn't even exist. Very poor journalism.
After realising their woeful gaffe the publication issued an apology and correction, but decided to keep the article visible in the name of "journalistic integrity".
You can imagine the howls of derision that erupted, not just in the comments section, but also from myself, almost.
I was all ready to go on the attack. Especially after I read through some of their website, I was baying for blood. And it would be so easy to do, to pull someone down in my veil of smug superiority.
But then I took time to think about it, which is always a good idea.
Journalistic integrity. That's a big claim, in light of the inaccuracies that were posted as "news".
But they were right. They owned their mistake, not afraid to let it remain for the world to see, swallow a bit of humble pie and say "yep, we got this so wrong". That takes guts.
So good on you guardianlv.com you showed integrity.
And thank you for reminding me, that the research, is so important.
If you're interested here's a link to the article.
Why not add a word of encouragement to the comments section. At least they owned up to it, which is more than a lot of print journalists are willing to do.