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Old 18th November 2021, 03:22 AM   #1
Mr Fied
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Lazy journalism or more racism?

Once again we have media reports mixing up two black men.

The fact that they are both well known professional footballers should have made it even easier to distinguish between them.

As it's not just one media outlet or one country is this down to lazy journalism or is it just plain racism.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/59329882

Just to recap, they have posted pictures of Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy on stories relating to the rape charges brought against Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy.

To me it seems unbelievable that professional journalist can make such a mistake on such a serious story, but for numerous outlets to make the same mistake is astonishing.
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Old 18th November 2021, 03:29 AM   #2
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Is it professional journalists actually making the mistake? Are they the people who select the images to go along side the story?
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Old 18th November 2021, 03:33 AM   #3
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Never avoid an opportunity to suggest racism, I always say.
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Old 18th November 2021, 03:37 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
Never avoid an opportunity to suggest racism, I always say.
Especially when they make it so easy.
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Old 18th November 2021, 03:39 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by RolandRat View Post
Is it professional journalists actually making the mistake? Are they the people who select the images to go along side the story?
It must be someones job to clear the story for release.

They are being paid for this job, they are professional journalists.
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Old 18th November 2021, 04:13 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by RolandRat View Post
Is it professional journalists actually making the mistake? Are they the people who select the images to go along side the story?
I can see how when a sub-editor gets the article with a note for a photo of "footballer Mendy" this sort of thing can happen. Especially if the person doing the editing has no interest in football.

Originally Posted by Mr Fied View Post
It must be someones job to clear the story for release.

They are being paid for this job, they are professional journalists.
A journalist is usually not responsible for sourcing the likes of photos to illustrate their article.

And these days sadly it is all about the speed and the costs, few organisations have dedicated proof-readers and all checking and verification takes money and time.

From my friends I know that the general attitude is more "get it out there, if it's wrong the public will tell us and we'll change it".
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Old 18th November 2021, 06:20 AM   #7
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Chelsea, Manchester, them football towns all look alike to a Journalist...
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Old 18th November 2021, 07:22 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mr Fied View Post
They are being paid for this job, they are professional journalists.
This is like blaming the photographer for factual errors in the article.
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Old 18th November 2021, 07:45 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I can see how when a sub-editor gets the article with a note for a photo of "footballer Mendy" this sort of thing can happen. Especially if the person doing the editing has no interest in football.



A journalist is usually not responsible for sourcing the likes of photos to illustrate their article.

And these days sadly it is all about the speed and the costs, few organisations have dedicated proof-readers and all checking and verification takes money and time.

From my friends I know that the general attitude is more "get it out there, if it's wrong the public will tell us and we'll change it".
I'd say the editorial staff are just as much professional journalists as the reporters. As are the fact-checkers.
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Old 18th November 2021, 07:46 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by I Am The Scum View Post
This is like blaming the photographer for factual errors in the article.
Why not blame the editor? Why not hold the editor to the standards of professional journalism? Isn't the editor's whole job to make sure that the stories which get published are up to those standards?
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Old 18th November 2021, 07:48 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I'd say the editorial staff are just as much professional journalists as the reporters. As are the fact-checkers.
That may the case in the USA but that's not how the title is generally used in the UK. For example: https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-prof...ess-sub-editor

"...To be a good sub-editor you'll need an excellent eye for detail, the ability to liaise with journalists and other editors and the creativity to write compelling headlines..."
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Old 18th November 2021, 08:01 AM   #12
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"... an excellent eye for detail".
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Old 18th November 2021, 08:10 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
"... an excellent eye for detail".
Yep - but of course that comes with a *, *but make sure our story is put online before anyone else at all costs, or rather at no cost!

I worked at a software developer in the late 80s that was owned by a magazine and paper publisher. Back in those days every line of text in anything being published was gone over by Bob and his colleague. It was fascinating to watch them work - a solid ruler, working down the text line by line, I learnt a lot of the old-fashioned editing marks and the value of proof reading. Unfortunately, that is an expense in terms of both time and money that companies don't seem willing to spend any longer.
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Old 18th November 2021, 08:38 AM   #14
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I have no objection to the idea - well evidenced! - that some editors are bad at their job. I'm just saying that their job is indeed professional journalism. The editor isn't supposed to be a bumbling amateur at this, any more than the reporter they're editing.

I think the real point is that "professional journalists" very often aren't, and what we take for granted as "professional journalism" is probably the work of bumbling amateurs far more often than we realize.
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Old 18th November 2021, 08:45 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Why not blame the editor? Why not hold the editor to the standards of professional journalism? Isn't the editor's whole job to make sure that the stories which get published are up to those standards?
Maybe it's an issue of categories that I'm not getting but I don't consider the editor themselves to be a "journalist."

In any case, this issue is most easily explained by the editor being unfamiliar with the players and mixing up two soccer players with identical last names.
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Old 18th November 2021, 08:55 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Mr Fied View Post
To me it seems unbelievable that professional journalist can make such a mistake on such a serious story, but for numerous outlets to make the same mistake is astonishing.
You have a higher opinion of the profession than is warranted.
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Old 18th November 2021, 09:38 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by I Am The Scum View Post
Maybe it's an issue of categories that I'm not getting but I don't consider the editor themselves to be a "journalist."
I consider journalism to be the end product, supposedly fit for public consumption, that is a result of the team effort by the reporter who gets the story, the editor who edits it into its final form, and other participants in the process. And I consider anyone who contributes to that process as part of their profession to be a "professional journalist".

I don't think it makes any sense at all to not hire professional journalists to edit the copy turned in by your stringers.
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Old 18th November 2021, 02:50 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
You have a higher opinion of the profession than is warranted.
Probably true, but you'd think in a fairly high profile rape case they would at least get the very basic stuff right.
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Old 18th November 2021, 03:47 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by RolandRat View Post
Is it professional journalists actually making the mistake? Are they the people who select the images to go along side the story?
This. I couldn't tell you what a tenth of professional athletes looked like, or if they were black, white, or purple.

There seems to be a projection of thinking they needed a picture of some random black athlete and "they all look alike", rather than the more plausible "no idea what this accused celebrity looks like", and not realizing the pic provided doesn't match the subject.

I recall quite a few written corrections in articles where the wrong picture was provided. It happens, especially in a fast-paced profession like journalism.
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Old 18th November 2021, 03:53 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
This. I couldn't tell you what a tenth of professional athletes looked like, or if they were black, white, or purple.

There seems to be a projection of thinking they needed a picture of some random black athlete and "they all look alike", rather than the more plausible "no idea what this accused celebrity looks like", and not realizing the pic provided doesn't match the subject.

I recall quite a few written corrections in articles where the wrong picture was provided. It happens, especially in a fast-paced profession like journalism.
Seems like it should be the professional editor's job to make sure the pic is of the person - especially if they have reason to believe that neither they nor anyone else involved in publishing the story actually knows that info up front. This isn't even so much "professional journalism" as just plain "professional".
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Old 18th November 2021, 03:55 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I consider journalism to be the end product, supposedly fit for public consumption, that is a result of the team effort by the reporter who gets the story, the editor who edits it into its final form, and other participants in the process. And I consider anyone who contributes to that process as part of their profession to be a "professional journalist".

I don't think it makes any sense at all to not hire professional journalists to edit the copy turned in by your stringers.
Ok, but would it make more sense to understand how the process actually all works and who is responsible for what and what their job titles are than just declare everyone a journalist?
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Old 18th November 2021, 03:56 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Mr Fied View Post
Once again we have media reports mixing up two black men.

The fact that they are both well known professional footballers should have made it even easier to distinguish between them.

As it's not just one media outlet or one country is this down to lazy journalism or is it just plain racism.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/59329882

Just to recap, they have posted pictures of Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy on stories relating to the rape charges brought against Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy.

To me it seems unbelievable that professional journalist can make such a mistake on such a serious story, but for numerous outlets to make the same mistake is astonishing.
For a discussion for how it happened in another case. A newspaper explains how the mistake was made.
https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...d-accidentally
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Old 18th November 2021, 04:13 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
Ok, but would it make more sense to understand how the process actually all works and who is responsible for what and what their job titles are than just declare everyone a journalist?
I think it makes perfect sense to call both the reporter and the editor invovled in the profession of journalism "professional journalists". It's not like the reporter is some paragon of investigative skill, and the editor is just some amateur duncebag they hired off the street to press the "spellcheck" button.
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Old 18th November 2021, 04:15 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I think it makes perfect sense to call both the reporter and the editor invovled in the profession of journalism "professional journalists". It's not like the reporter is some paragon of investigative skill, and the editor is just some amateur duncebag they hired off the street to press the "spellcheck" button.
Quote:
I consider journalism to be the end product, supposedly fit for public consumption, that is a result of the team effort by the reporter who gets the story, the editor who edits it into its final form, and other participants in the process. And I consider anyone who contributes to that process as part of their profession to be a "professional journalist".
ok, keep going
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Old 18th November 2021, 04:18 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I think it makes perfect sense to call both the reporter and the editor invovled in the profession of journalism "professional journalists". It's not like the reporter is some paragon of investigative skill, and the editor is just some amateur duncebag they hired off the street to press the "spellcheck" button.
Not sure I really agree with that. I wouldn't call a solicitor a Judge because they both happen to be involved in the legal profession.
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Old 18th November 2021, 05:08 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by RolandRat View Post
Not sure I really agree with that. I wouldn't call a solicitor a Judge because they both happen to be involved in the legal profession.
I'd call them both legal professionals, though. Beyond that, I don't think journalism and judging are analogous enough to support an argument from one to the other.

I'm also not interested in arguments that minimize the role and responsibility of the editor in making sure the published report is accurate and otherwise up to the standards of professional journalism. I don't think professional journalism begins and ends with the reporter that drafts the copy. I don't see the point in trying to compartmentalize the profession this way.

I think an editor needs to understand the profession and standards of journalism to do their job, and that an editor who does a bad job of editing is doing bad journalism just as much as a reporter who does a bad job of reporting.
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Old 18th November 2021, 05:21 PM   #27
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This kinda interested me so I had a sniff around and it looks like you are correct. Most sources I found agree the editor is a journalist.

https://customerservice.globe.com/hc...and-columnist-

"An EDITOR serves many functions. While specific responsibilities may differ according to title or newspaper, an editor may do one or more of the following: assign reporters, decide which news events to cover, edit (revise)reporters' stories, decide what stories get published, determine where each story will be placed in the paper, write headlines, and select photographs for the paper. At larger papers, each section (e.g., Business, Sports) has one or more editors responsible for the content of that section."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guide...mnb/revision/1

"Editors are responsible for newspaper's editorial voice, and often write editorial ‘leaders’ - opinion pieces placed in the editorial section usually at the end of the news pages.

A news-editor oversees the news content of each edition. They will assign stories to reporters, liaise with the sub-editing and photography departments, and decide the priority and importance of news articles. They will also check for legal and ethical issues in a journalist’s copy."

I learned something today.
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Old 18th November 2021, 05:30 PM   #28
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Makes sense.

I think of editors as being similar to lead developers or principal developers on a software development team. They don't do much (or any) of the day-to-day software development work. But they're responsible for reviewing all the code, setting standards, approving merges and releases, etc. And to do all this competently, and oversee a team that consistently produces good code, they have to be competent software developers themselves.
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Old 18th November 2021, 08:23 PM   #29
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does not meet definition of racism.
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Old 18th November 2021, 08:57 PM   #30
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Unless you want to try and make the "all black men look the same" thing stick, which is a stretch, then I agree that this is just lazy journalism.
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Old 18th November 2021, 09:06 PM   #31
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Itís two guys in the same sport with the same name. There might be another explanation.
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Old 19th November 2021, 04:20 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
Ok, but would it make more sense to understand how the process actually all works and who is responsible for what and what their job titles are than just declare everyone a journalist?
But youíve got to be contrary!
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Old 19th November 2021, 04:29 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I think it makes perfect sense to call both the reporter and the editor invovled in the profession of journalism "professional journalists". It's not like the reporter is some paragon of investigative skill, and the editor is just some amateur duncebag they hired off the street to press the "spellcheck" button.
And the picture desk?
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Old 19th November 2021, 10:28 AM   #34
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Old 19th November 2021, 11:04 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
Itís two guys in the same sport with the same name. There might be another explanation.
Lazy journalism seems like a pretty good explanation to me. If professional journalists aren't being taught to check for people with similar names in the field they're reporting about, they damn well should be. So maybe the explanation isn't so much lazy journalism as it is lazy/incompetent journalism teachers.
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Old 19th November 2021, 11:06 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
And the picture desk?
Absolutely. Can't publish good journalistic results if you're hiring bumbling amateurs to staff your picture desk. And then there's still the editor, whose supposed to check these things and make sure the picture desk along with everyone else involved is doing their jobs properly.
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Old 19th November 2021, 12:33 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Lazy journalism seems like a pretty good explanation to me. If professional journalists aren't being taught to check for people with similar names in the field they're reporting about, they damn well should be. So maybe the explanation isn't so much lazy journalism as it is lazy/incompetent journalism teachers.
Yeah I know youíre pretty settled in on your initial reaction. Thanks for reaffirming that.
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Old 19th November 2021, 12:47 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
Yeah I know youíre pretty settled in on your initial reaction. Thanks for reaffirming that.
What other explanation would you like me to consider? I've already rejected "racism". Should I not have done that?
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Old 19th November 2021, 01:02 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
What other explanation would you like me to consider? I've already rejected "racism". Should I not have done that?
There was a link posted earlier how a similar mistake was made.

Iím not going to tell you what you should or shouldnít do. If you want to repeatedly insist your initial conclusion on how a mistake was made in a process and field you appear to know little about is the correct one, well you do you. To me, seems a little lazy.
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Old 19th November 2021, 01:42 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
There was a link posted earlier how a similar mistake was made.
That link describes a process that I would certainly term as "lazy journalism". Over reliance on a half-assed automated process and third-party contributions without adequate fact-checking or editorial oversight, and then appeals to complexity to excuse the predictable human errors.

Also, I hope you will understand why I'm not a priori very impressed with a Guardian editor explaining how even though the Guardian owns the process and the system, the Guardian doesn't own any of the failures arising from the process or the system. That they own.

I'm also not impressed with the argument that I don't know how it really works. "Sure, you'd expect the editors to exercise editorial oversight and make sure the finished package is good before it goes to print. But you're wrong. In fact, some parts of the package are entirely in the hands of no-talent assclowns you've never heard of. We editors are just as much powerless victims of their incompetence as you are. Please don't blame us, we're only the editors."

It's lazy journalism all the way down. All your link does is give more detail and texture to the tapestry of fail.
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