Check Your Facts Before Publishing

Have you read something on social media and immediately shared? Did you stop to think about whether it was accurate?

It’s a question, I honestly hadn’t given much thought to on my personal Facebook page, but now I’m pausing before I hit share.

At a recent media conference, Bill Schackner of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette questioned, “Just because you can send it quickly, should you?”

(Source: ING)

(Source: ING)

Unfortunately, it seems as if that is exactly what many reporters are doing.

A new survey from Dutch company ING found that 45 percent of international journalists “publish as soon as possible and correct later,” while only 20 percent always do their due diligence before publishing.

Additionally, the 2014 Study Impact of Social Media on News report, created for PR professionals and journalists, reported that one-third of journalists don’t consider social media posts a reliable source of information.

That doesn’t mean they don’t see the value of social media posts. Fifty percent said the majority of their news tips and facts come from social.

Scott Jaschick, editor and founder of Insider Higher Ed, said at the same media conference, “We now have unofficial sources of information. That really helps.”

I was encouraged, though, when he told the audience to lots of applause, “We’re old school journalists. We actually like to confirm facts.”

Maybe more journalists will return to the days of fact checking.