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Accuracy in online journalism

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 03:51 PM

The following exchange between lenxyz and HDMC in the Superannuation thread gives an interesting insight into modern journalism:

 HDMC, on 05 April 2013 - 08:11 AM, said:

Breaking News


From July next year, superannuation earnings from assets above $100,000 will be taxed at 15 per cent instead of being tax-free.

 lenxyz, on 05 April 2013 - 10:03 AM, said:

I would reword that quote. It is allready causing confusion. It is not the assets that have to be over $100,000 but the earnings over $100,000 pa from super fund assets that will be taxed. Not clear yet if this is combined earnings (couples) or if it is on the whole $100,000.

 HDMC, on 05 April 2013 - 10:52 AM, said:

It was a direct copy/paste. If it's causing confusion I'd lay the blame at the feet of the journo who wrote it.

 lenxyz, on 05 April 2013 - 11:14 AM, said:

I believe you. That is why it is always best to check original sources. The link no longer has that quote. It has been updated. Seems the journo realised his mistake.

This is one reason why I have earlier disparaged the standards of journalism.

It got me thinking though. Why does online journalism seem to be so sloppy at times?

Maybe this is the reason. There's less time (essentially none these days) between the time they write the copy and the time it is published, which gives little time for copy editing so that errors and ambiguity can be corrected before publication. With the "soft" nature of online publication (as opposed to "hard" copy of a newspaper), it is far easier to make corrections so less emphasis may be given for initial accuracy. In the media, more emphasis is placed on being first with the news, rather than first and accurate.
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