Fri | Sep 21, 2018

Journalists must do due diligence

Published:Thursday | August 16, 2018 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

In recent times, it has become more and more evident that something has gone awry with journalism in Jamaica. One doesn't have to look very far for an example of their ineptitude.

The recent news story involving Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Daryl Vaz, leaves much to be desired.

The advent of social media has somewhat eroded effective journalism. Information is readily available everywhere and from different individuals, trained and untrained. Consumers do not think it's their responsibility to verify it. In fact, if the journalists receive press releases or leaked information, the onus is on them to fact-check and do at least basic investigation.

This lack of due diligence is a bothersome crisis. Our governance is seriously hampered by this wanton recklessness by media personnel. It's one thing to mistakenly put out a wrong name or location, but when you get into reporting persons as wrongdoers without having heard both sides, a dangerous precedent is being set.

In their bid to break news first, journalists have seemingly omitted vital components of story writing and reporting. If we can't rely on our journalists for factual and accurately written news, I do believe we will find ourselves in quite a quandary.

TC