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Journalism and the truth: More complicated than it has ever been
When former New York Times public editor Arthur Brisbane asked earlier this year whether reporters for the paper should be “truth vigilantes,” the response was immediate and decisive: of course they should, readers said — after all, wasn’t that what journalists were supposed to be doing in the first place? It clearly is, but as Clay Shirky and others participating in a Poynter Institute forum pointed out on Tuesday, that job has gotten infinitely harder as the number of information sources has increased thanks to the web and social media. Checking specific facts may have gotten easier, now that anyone can do it, but is reaching any kind of consensus about the capital T truth even possible any more?