Discussion

Does Verification Matter to the Audience?

The process of verification can take journalists a long time. How important do you think verification is to the audience?

 

News outlets often use the phrase ‘this video cannot be independently verified’ when they use footage that they can’t be 100% sure about. How do you think audiences react to that phrase? Is it helpful or do you think it makes audiences question everything about the content?

 

Recall the Brussels airport example. News outlets ran the video and credited it to Anna Ahronheim, but she hadn’t captured the video herself. Thus, the footage was real, but the credit was wrong. Does that matter? Should news outlets have waited until they were 100% sure of the source? Should they have run the video with no credit or perhaps a caption that ran ‘Credit: Unknown’. What do you think should be best practice in a situation like this?