Dishonesty journalists

What steps can copy editors take to ensure that the damaging stories of unethical and dishonest journalists do not make it into print?



  1. What a copy editor should do to ensure damaging stories of unethical and dishonest journalists don’t make it into print is everything they’re suppose to do. By that I mean checking sources, checking facts, dates, making sure the story is cohesive, and more. That’s why copy editors are in the position they are in because that’s they’re job to make sure everything that goes into print is ethical, honest, and fair. If a dishonest journalist has a story that makes through to print, not only should the journalist be fired, but the copy editor must face some heavy consequences as well. The fact they let a damaging story slip through their fingers straight into print, they need to be asking some questions. Why did it make it to print? Did they do any fact checking? Why didn’t they check for anything? Just in Shattered Glass, Chuck did what was right even though many people didn’t like what he did to Stephen. Stephen had to be fired because 27 of his 41 stories were fabricated, whether partially or entirely. Copy editors have the toughest jobs because not only are they suppose to stand behind their reporters, but they must also try to weave out those dishonest journalists who make up stories or fabricate them. They have to not only look out for the best interest of their reporters, but they must also look out for the best interest of their newspaper they’re working for, and if a copy editor wants to keep their jobs, they need to make sure their reporters are reporting fair, accurate, and ethical stories before they go into print.

    Comment by lamarhreporter — September 20, 2009 @ 4:42 pm

  2. Knowing if a story is truthful without fact checking while reading a story for the first time can be a challenge. Ideas to look for when checking whether or not dishonesty and libel are in a story include harsh language, stereotyptic titles of people or using less thatn three sources. Sticking to one or two sources is an easy way to lead to biases about topics reported over, which can cause people’s reputations to be skewed or damaged.
    The best action would be to call up the sources themselves to ensure that the reporter has interviewed them and to reconfirm information given in the article. Looking into the history of the people or topics from previous articles and comparing that informatin against what the reporter has down could help in deciding whether or not the information is accurate. If the information that a reporter has is completely opposite or out of place from past reports (which have hopefully been checked), then the editor may want to question the reporter’s validity.
    If the reporter has recorded the interviews down or have taken notes, the editor can look at those sources to see exactly what questions were asked and how they were presented to the people interviewed. Discrepencies between the questions and the information in the article should be further investigated by the editor to separate truthful details from falsified ones.
    When creating an article, both the reporter and the editor have to realize that it is better to have a truthful, reliable story than a fabricated one, even if that involves leaving personal opinions and assumptions out of the article.

    Comment by Alesha Bailey — September 20, 2009 @ 6:10 pm

  3. To make sure unethical and dishonest stories do not get published the copy editor needs to do their job correctly. One of the important jobs of a copy editor is to fact check all the stories they edit. If the copy editor fact checks the story in depth they will realize that the information in the story is false or fabricated. Then it is the job of the copy editor to take it to the editor of the paper and show them the dishonest story so that the reporter can be punished, even if that mean being fired. Although, I believe that if it is one small fact that was changed or not real that the copy editor should talk to the reporter and tell them they need to change the false information. And then as a copy editor they need to check the new information that the reporter used to replace the old information. Also, if a story prints with false information I believe that the reporter and the copy editor should suffer the consequences because although it is the reporters job to write the truth it is the copy editors job to make sure the information is really true and honest.

    Comment by Beth Steele — September 21, 2009 @ 3:19 pm

  4. Copy editors must be an example to journalists that no dishonest information will be allowed in a story. Copy editors must check all the facts and all the information to make sure that they are correct. Journalists can not see a copy editor as a friend, they can not be seen as soft. Or some journalists might want to take advantage of that and not care about the facts and other information in the story. Copy editors must ask tough questions of their reports so they know that they will know that nothing will get by the editor. Copy editors must do his or her job so journalists know that they can not sneak anything past the copy editor.

    Comment by Michael Stopka — September 21, 2009 @ 8:40 pm

  5. I feel that at the first sign of trouble, a copy editor should be wary of a journalist with dishonest intentions. The sole purpose of a journalist is to tell the truth to the people that rely on them for the news. Once a journalist violates that code, and it becomes clear that they have ill intentions, it is the copy editors responsibility to report them to a higher authority. If it is a minor slip up, then the editor should dispose of the false information, and either have the reporter obtain new work to replace the old, or scratch the story entirely.

    Comment by kaitlin sullivan — September 22, 2009 @ 2:05 pm

  6. Copy editors just need to do their job by fact checking and rereading stories numerous times before sending them to print. Fact checking is the big key element that will help copy editors weed out the damaging and unethical stories that dishonest journalists might write. A copy editor might also want to go over each individual story with the journalists who wrote them. This will give the copy editor a better sense of the information and facts the writer is trying to display. It will also help copy editors determine if a journalist is being dishonest or not. By going over all these steps a copy editor has a better chance of catching damaging and unethical stories before they go to print.

    Comment by slbilharz — September 22, 2009 @ 10:51 pm

  7. To keep from having damaging and unethical stories in the media, editors need to do their job and think of other people’s lives and feelings. The first step editors can take is watching what stories go out to reporters. Watching what reporters are writing about is important so damaging stories don’t make it to press. The next steps are up to the copy editor. The copy editor needs to check the progress of the reporter and check the angle of the reporter’s story. The checking of the angle is important because a slight change of a reporters angle could change the entire aspect of the story, and therefore, could make the story damaging or unethical. This step is also the job of the copy editor, the copy editor needs to check and re-check every fact and name, even though the fact may seem correct. Letting stories into the paper that could be damaging or unethical could ruin the creditability of the newspaper, and even worse, ruin someone’s life.

    Comment by Kristin Jording — September 23, 2009 @ 7:52 pm

  8. Dishonest reporters cannot only ruin a paper’s reputation, but their job as well as others. If an editor fails to check a reporters references, then they fail at their job. An editor’s job is to ensure the accuracy and grammar of the stories in the paper.
    The editor should also be keeping up the the reporter’s story from the beginning to the end. These reports are essential for determining the story newsworthiness. The editor should be able to detect any inconsistentences in the story process from these reports.
    An editor must also be able to know the people they work with. If they suspect something unusual or unfamiliar with one of the reporters, then they must talk to that reporter and fellow employees to find out what’s up.

    Comment by Kaitlyn Peters — September 24, 2009 @ 3:08 pm

  9. Copy editors have a big role in protecting stories. Since some journalists take the easy way out, all copy editors need to be skeptical of every article that they have to edit. Trusting a reporter is not what a copy editor should do. Since they are the last one to look at the article before it is printed they need to thoroughly check all names, addresses, grammar and all factual information. The only way to make sure that “damaging stories of unethical and dishonest journalists do not make it into print” is to ensure that copy editors are doing their job in the most efficient way.

    Comment by Colleen — September 25, 2009 @ 7:35 pm

  10. As editors it is our first job to ensure that all articles printed are factual materials. But there are people who do their best to evade the editors and print stories with false topics. the way to stop this is to simply do your job very effectivley. You should fact check, again and again if necessary. Make sure that all sources are real and not websites that aren’t reliable. You also should know your journalists. Don’t simply read their work, get to know them. Ensure that they are decent people with a good work ethic. Being an editor isn’t all about papers, you should know how to read and talk with your reporters.

    Comment by Amy — September 25, 2009 @ 7:45 pm

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