Between the technological hare and the journalistic tortoise

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Getting the news out first, in the form of a newsflash, faces ever-increasing challenges with the diversity of media outlets, and professional journalists also have competition in the form of eyewitnesses publishing on social media. This article looks at the quality of knowledge often imparted within online news flashes and whether knowledge, authority or content is routinely lost in the urge to get the news online.
The core conclusion is that journalists and editors normally manage well, with ‘flash editors’ especially developing practices to acquire and present sufficient knowledge and understanding to remediate the news, although there can be situations due to crisis and untoward events where things may unintentionally slip. In any case, media professionals remain aware of the need for accurate, informed reporting through focussed knowledge acquisition and knowledge presentation.
Research carried out in Israel comparing news strands (initial newsflash and subsequent full reports) was used for this article. The article itself was interesting and considerate, although its text could have benefitted from being more accessible and flowing – something you would have thought to be definitely present within a text that has a journalistic focus! All the desired elements were present and an interesting literature review helped set the scene and guide the reader. A wider audience, especially those who can be critical about the media, may benefit from noting this research, although its structure and format may be sadly off-putting, so any remediation by a magazine or newspaper may be welcomed!
The research methodologies deployed were comprehensive, relevant and valid. It could be used as a model for other unrelated research with ease. The analysis and subsequent discussion of the research was interesting, noting the situations whereby greater cautious distance and less cohesive and authoritative claims may be made by journalists when ‘breaking news’. It need not be viewed as bad news (sic) for the journalists, however, when accuracy is not at danger. A degree of caution is always a good thing to have and this can be signposted to the media consumer at the same time.
The main concern is about the presentation of this research, which limits its accessibility and readability to a much broader audience. Concern, in this context, should perhaps be surrounded by quotation marks, as readability and accessibility may be subjective, especially when considering the audience.
Rom, S. and Reich, Z., 2017. Between the technological hare and the journalistic tortoise: Minimization of knowledge claims in online news flashes. Journalism.
DOI:10.1177/1464884917740050

A post-publication review of this article appears at Publons.