Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Exactly what do fact checkers do?

Do fact checkers check facts?
Are such people even employed at most newspapers?
In the oh-no!-newspapers-are-a-dying-breed-this-is-the-end-of-democracy! meme of the past year or so, much is made of the fact that newspapers, as opposed to blogs, do actual reporting, as opposed to blogs, and are objective, as opposed to blogs, and so are reliable, as opposed to blogs.

Well, since writers of blogs do not, so far as I know, pretend to offer much more than fora for rumor and opinion and snark and publicity for freely available but not well known, (public records, etc.) , this struck me as a silly point, but not as silly as the implicit claim that real newspapers report objectively and are therefore reliable.

The idea that the Pope would be so rude as this bit of "reporting" in the UK's Times Online asserted smelled fishy.
And according to the Catholic News Service.... er, BLOG, it was.


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