Is Local News Facing a ‘Credibility Crisis’?

By Merrill Knox 

TVNewsCheck’s reports on rise of erroneous reporting and how it affects the local news industry. Diana Marszalek examines how local stations can avoid a “credibility crisis,” pointing out that getting the facts straight has to be a top priority “if the medium is to stay credible”:

Remedying the problem starts in newsrooms, [Poynter’s Al Tompkins] says. “What we need to have are new conversations about journalistic values and what are we willing to attach our names to.”

[RTDNA executive director Mike] Cavender agrees. “It’s even more important now that newsrooms have standards that they adhere to, and that people take the time to check and recheck before putting that information out on their own platforms,” he says. “It’s sorting out fact from fiction and accuracy from inaccuracy.”

[Internet Broadcasting VP Barb] Palser envisions a greater number of stations adopting policies that regulate the use of information that is in “the public space” and user-generated content. Broadcasters also need to expand their digital teams and improve — most notably by streamlining — the range of platforms they oversee to be efficient and effective, she says.