Tuesday, August 07, 2007

ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS "TRUTH"

Speaking a Culture of Truth, this editorial is an instant classic in annals of the practice of Journalism in the 21st Century, where apparently truth has no meaning:

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Atlanta Journal-Constitution
'Objective truth' passes the test for letters to editor
By Angela Tuck, Public Editor
August 4, 2007

"Here's a question that has come up a few times in recent months: "Why does the AJC allow letter writers to make statements that aren't factual?"

Once it's printed in the newspaper, it's highly possible that someone will adopt the statement as fact, said Barbara Latimer, a reader from Rockdale County. Perhaps the newspaper should run a small disclaimer with the letter for clarity's sake, she said.

Editorial page editor Cynthia Tucker once believed all letters should be factually accurate, but now she's more likely to let readers have their say and let others decide whether the letter writer is indeed stating facts.

"I believe there is such a thing as an objective truth, but a lot of readers have an objective truth that differs from mine," she said.

"We live in such a politically polarized age that not everybody agrees on the facts. My letters policy tends to be a bit looser than those of some other editorial page editors. I believe as long as they are willing to sign their names to it, and it's not violent or libelous, we should print them."

Tucker says the AJC has printed many letters from readers insisting that PeachCare has run out of money because so many illegal immigrants are on the rolls. "That's not true, but if we don't print those letters, those readers will believe we're biased," she said.

Readers who still believe Iraq had weapons of mass destruction that they were taking to Syria are allowed to express that view even though it is clearly not true."


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Oh well. It's only a newspaper.

2 comments:

shrimplate said...

Really. It's not like they have any obligation to tell the truth. Sheesh.

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