Publishing/Broadcasting/Sharing a Story
Inevitably, when it comes time to write or record your work, decisions need to be made. Editing will take place for reasons of time, available space, or clarity. It is essential that the integrity of the work is retained throughout this process.
These are the questions you should ask yourself:
Am I sharing as much as possible of the underlying source material for this story?
Online reporting, in particular, has provided new opportunities for journalists to share links to background information, source documents, and other research material with the public. Apart from the need to protect confidential sources, the more that relevant documentation is provided to the public, the more that trust in the processes of journalism is enhanced.
Has the editing process made the story inaccurate or unbalanced?
The most carefully researched piece of work can suffer when it is written and edited. Journalists need to retain oversight of their work throughout the editing process. They also must ensure that any alterations or cuts do not undermine the fundamental accuracy of the story or the proper representation of all relevant perspectives.
Are the headlines, social media posts, and all versions of the story true to the original version?
A headline should not mislead or undermine the essence of a story — they are often read by people who do not go on to read the full story. Similarly, shorter versions, excerpts, or summaries of stories that are posted on social media or other platforms should not be inaccurate or misleading in the way that they summarize or select from the original story.