Media outlets have as much responsibility as ever to maintain standards
One of the roughest stories about medical coverage I’ve heard was from a bacteriologist who told me about the effort he’d made with a local journalist over a particular research story. But to his horror, when the article was published in the newspaper, every time the word “bacterium” should have been used, “virus” appeared instead. Outraged, he rang the journalist who gave him the standard response — that it was the subeditor’s fault. Not giving up, our intrepid researcher rang the subbie who told him “It wasn’t me, it was the editor”. So he called the editor whose response was, “I used journalistic licence. I reckoned our readers knew the word virus better. It doesn’t matter does it?”
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