In response to a BetaNews writer presenting a third-party source for a story this morning, I wrote in group chat:
In human relationships there is a misconception that love conquers all, that it’s more important than anything. Actually, trust matters much more. Trust is the foundation of all relationships and framework for all cultural moral and ethical systems. In news, trust is a paramount. People need to trust that we report as accurately as possible. Even when I write snarky stories, there’s still a relationship of trust.
There’s a terrible echo chamber of blogging and news reporting that shakes the Fourth Estate’s foundations. Somebody has to be trustworthy, who reports what is known to be true in the moment. Trust is how you ultimately build lasting readership and loyalty—to you as the writer as much as the site and your personal brand. The point: Nail down your sourcing.
See July 2005 post “Journalist’s Trust is Inviolate” for more.