Thursday, July 24, 2008

StandFirm Flubs Journalism 101

It amuses me that so many people on the "right" like to pose as journalists and reporters. They think that being bloggers makes them journalists. I know better, of course. But let's not malign the poor dears too harshly. Usually, I don't care what lies they write. They're not journalists, of course. They don't even seem to have the first clue about what Real Journalists are supposed to do about fact-checking and such. Oh well. They shall have their reward.

And this is not a big deal, but it bears correcting.

When Archbishop Daniel of Sudan gave his now-infamous media interview, Jackie Bruchi over at Stand Firm quotes Cherie Wetzel at Anglican Mainstream saying "the archbishop is young -- I would guess that he is in his 40s. He is very articulate and has an earned PhD." As if either of those "facts" mattered??

In fact, she's totally wrong on both counts. Of course, she doesn't actually know Archbishop Daniel, so she just surmises and makes up facts. (You're surprised, right?)

In fact, Archbishop Daniel is 58 years old. He is not in his 40s.

And he does not have "an earned PhD." He has an honorary doctorate from Virginia Theological Seminary, which he received in May (just after he visited our diocese) for his work in peace and justice and reconciliation.

But why bother with fact-checking (as a journalist would do) when you have a blog?

Aren't you just shocked that Cherie Wetzel got it so wrong and StandFirm quoted it as gospel? I know I am.


Blogger Cany said...

ah lisa, what's a little deception among friends:)

fact check--phewie!

7/24/2008 10:46 PM  
Blogger Malcolm+ said...

Of course, people can make mistakes too.

But when I made a serious error of fact in the comment section on another blog, I

1. posted a complete correction and apology on my own blog,
2. posted a link to that correction and apology in the thread where I had posted my original mistaken information
3. sent an email to the bishop I had unintentionally misrepresented linking him to my full explanation and offering to extend the apology in person when I am next in his see city.

That's what you do when you make an honest mistake.

7/25/2008 12:03 AM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Yeah, I'm sure StandFirm & AM will do the honorable thing, just as you've outlined it. After all, they love to point out any error elsewhere.

7/25/2008 12:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the record, you can fact check til the cows come home and you will never see a post where I have claimed the title of journalist. I am a blogger.

I posted Cherie's post as we often do without comment. I do know that Archbishop Bul attended VTS in the 1990's as a student but am not certain of any degree status. Cherie's post stands for itself.

A friend notified me of your post and I have sent an email of inquiry, however, I am out of town with a family emergency. As soon as I return I will make every effort to post any correction that may be needed, as is our policy at Stand Firm.

Jackie Bruchi

7/25/2008 9:32 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Glad to hear it, Jackie. I don't have e-mails for any of you writers over at StandFirm (nor for Ms. Wetzel). Maybe we should swap e-addresses. You can reach me through the "Contact Us" link at The Episcopal Majority. Does SFiF have a similar generic e-address?

I am sorry to hear you have a family emergency. Of course, family comes first. Godspeed to you and your family.

7/26/2008 9:16 AM  

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