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Editor’s Desk: Responsibility in Journalism

Thursday, November 25, 2004

“Please know that nothing is more important to us than people's trust in our ability and our commitment to report fairly and truthfully.”
--Dan Rather

Many have commented to me, both among my staff and my close friends, who most studies of our logs show, are our only readers. They comment to me, “Ryan, how can you have a news site that give such wildly inaccurate and badly written articles. Don’t you have any journalistic responsibility?”

Don’t you have any journalistic responsibility?

Throughout the history of journalism, one things has remained sacrosanct, the deadline. No matter how much you want to make a story right, it still have to be ready for the Monthly Magazine, the Morning Edition, or The Evening News. In this tradition, and when run correctly, Monthly Magazines tend to have more facts and less filler, Newspapers less so, and television less than that. And as Dan Rather showed us, even weekly television stories can be rushed to the press too quickly.

I was talking to a friend of mine who used to manage a pizza store. He did mostly delivery business. He explained to me the tiers of pizza. You can have high priced pizza with superior ingredients that takes a long time to cook. You can have a medium quality pizza that can cook relatively fast and be delivered faster at a lower price. Or you can have a cheap pizza that cooks very fast and sell yourself on your delivery speed. In this ilk, I think our readers could imagine us as a suspicious smelling microwave pizza with all the pepperoni on one side. We may not always to get your news done right, but it will be steaming hot when it gets to your door.

imagine us as a suspicious smelling microwave pizza

On a personal note, this week I would like to thank Google, Terry Owens and Nicollette Sheridan. Over the last week, the Monday Night Football story doubled page views on our site, the majority of those viewers were sent from Google. For one shining moment it looked like we may have had more readers than staff. It has given us hope for the future of this publication, and through some creative log analysis, it has given our investors hope as well.

Dr. Ryan Maynard, Editor, NewsBlog 5000


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