Cryptcl: Journalist Licensing: Data Integrity with Proven Accusations and Name-Calling

Waldorf: Fact-checking is gone from journalism today.
Statler: Everyone just echo’s whatever somebody else says and assumes its correct.
Waldorf: Kind of Like a ventriloquist and his dummy. Ha! Ha! Ha!
Statler: Yeah, but which one is the dummy. Ha! Ha! Ha!

These days no one knows what is true or who to trust. Everyone is really just following the free speech model that allows us all to say whatever we want, whenever we want. Free speech is fine unless readers need to rely on the data integrity to make their personal decisions. We have so-called “journalists” on websites, in magazines, on newspapers, blogs, television, radio, Twitter, Facebook, on public funded, and private funded networks and stations. The problem is that the majority of these sources of information, including me a blogger, have no forced level of fact checking required on the writings they produce. We license, doctors, lawyers, and hairdressers. Why not license “journalists”?
For more detailed discussion of Journalistic Standards can be found in this blog at:

A “journalist” license is not based on any formal training in writing, journalism, or book authorship. It is based on the purpose of the writing and the data integrity of that writing. I can foresee a few types of “journalist” licenses. This is just a start, there will be more as the need arises:

  • News Journalist: FACTS ONLY: all News writings in this category force an exacting process of fact checking before the writing can be published. A writing from an author labeled News Journalist means that the writer is guaranteeing the accuracy of the data used. Most news outlets will fit into this category.
  • Op-Ed Journalist: FACTS and OPINION: all Opinion writings in this category, in addition to fact-checked data integrity of a News Journalist, will also have the opinions of the writer based on those verified facts. A writers opinion is just that. It is what the writer believes from the facts. You may agree or disagree with that opinion. Most opinion and editorial outlets will fit in this category.
  • Private Journalist: FREE SPEECH: all writings in this category means they are the writers news and opinions and there is no guarantee of data integrity. This will probably be the home of most bloggers. A one-man blog does not have the resources to fact check everything. It assumes certain data is true without verification. Most blogs should fit in this category. If a blog however does extensive fact checking then a blog can be a News or Op-Ed journalist license.

The whole point is that whenever any writing is published on the web, in magazines, in newspapers, and in books, there will be a header on the first page stating “time published, author’s name, Journalist license identification”. As a reader I can immediately understand the level of data integrity in the writing I am reading based on a Journalist License.

Now I foresee “journalists” will be required to register under a certain type of journalist license. Your Chris Mathews and Rush Limbaugh types will probably register as Op-Ed Journalists. Your news corespondents will probably register as News Journalists or Op-Ed Journalists. The function these licenses provide to the user is that now they will be able to trust the facts of any news report or journalist writing. Right now things that are repeated enough in the “media echo chamber” somehow become fact even when they aren’t fact. If correspondents or journalists provide invalid or error in data then it is possible they will have their license revoked. They can still write and work, they just can’t say they verify the integrity of the data under a journalist license. Which is obvious to the reader since no journalist license appears in the header of the writing or spoken text.

Journalist licenses also verify accusation and name-calling. If a journalist calls somebody “a balloon head”, then that journalist has an obligation to present the true factual data that proves someone is “a balloon head”. If you can’t prove they are “a balloon head”, then you cannot call them “a balloon head”. There is no unproven accusations or unproven name-calling allowed.

Everything in the writing must be fact checked and verified. This will create a much more civil environment. If you can’t prove it, then you can’t say it if you have a News or Op-Ed Journalistic license. If your are Private Journalist then you can say whatever you want and accuse and name call till the cows come home. We will be able to determine the license level of the writer and then come to some immediate conclusion of the quality of the data integrity.

Published in: on August 1, 2011 at 3:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

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