Content, News Websites, Opinion

A Call For Journalistic Excellence

In the day and age where news doesn’t have to be accurate, it just has to be viral, there is an intensifying call for media companies to have a sense of journalistic credibility. In a time where rumors spread like wildfire and a hoax can wreak greater havoc no thanks to social media and the Internet, a media outfit has an even-greater reason to set itself apart.

What makes, say, The Philippine Star, or The Philippine Daily Inquirer more credible than a viral Facebook post about a crime or catastrophe report? Factual accuracy, for one. Grammatical accuracy, another.

The devil is in the details, as they say, and while most of the reading public may not be able to appreciate the major differences between “Fifty Shades Of Gray” or a Francine Pascal (Sweet Valley franchise) book, there is still a call for excellence in prose.

Whether your audience can pick out the flaws in your reporting or not, at the end of the day, when you know that your team could have done better, you know, without a doubt, that your efforts were not good enough.

For big media brands such as The Rappler and Yahoo! people expect their content to be, at the least, error-free. No glaring typos, no grammatical unforgivables. These are big websites, with revenue that could pay for editors; surely, they can do better than this:

For long-time readers of Yahoo!, errors are no longer the exception to the rule. Errors are rife in Yahoo! articles, and for Yahoo! Philippines, Yahoo! OMG seems to be the worst purveyor of typographical errors, as we can see from the samples. Not even daybreak deadlines or ungodly working hours can excuse the dismal quality of reporting for these big-name websites.

The readers deserve more than half-baked work: the readers are the ones who give these media companies the traffic that translates to THE reason for advertisers to work with a website. Traffic indicates that the website has a ready audience to sell to; and this traffic is composed of the readers who consume the website’s work.

Thus, it is only right to say that the readers are THE target market for a media/news website. They are the primary demographic for a website to serve: They both give the reason for advertisers to work with the website, and ultimately, they are the ones who will buy the goods that fund the companies who advertise. And part of these companies’ revenue will definitely go to advertising spend, some of which will be channeled to these very news websites.

It is therefore safe to say that the readers deserve to consume top-quality, truth-based stories. And these stories have to be delivered in accuracy.

We hope that the big-name websites would realize the weight of their responsibility towards the end-user and work on improving the quality of the material they produce.

Not that we’re a puppy barking up at Great Danes or Saint Bernards; rather, we’re also readers, wishing that the websites we follow and rely on would work to ensure that we get top-notch work. After all, we’ll be the ones consuming the goods that your bosses, the advertisers, produce.

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Photo Credits: Nielsen Newswire

About Pinay Media Planner Media Team

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