The complaint most often levelled against digital journalism by old-school print reporters is that websites apply lower standards of reporting, writing and fact-checking than their offline predecessors.
The charge is not unfounded, but it tells only part of the story.
Print journalism, at its best, imposes great responsibility before publication, but allows for next to none afterwards. Once the presses start rolling, the newsroom’s work is done.
And since so much has been invested in getting the story right in the first place, reporters and editors may be unwilling to concede mistakes. Requests for corrections and clarifications are resisted, and contradictory stories often ignored.
Online journalism, by contrast, devotes less time and money to pre-publication checks, but takes more responsibility for revisions and updates once a story is live. The always-on nature of the medium allows for rapid amendments, and the constraints of time and resources under which it operates mean that corrections are more frequently required – and accepted more readily within the newsroom.
Read more: The Week