One must not want to go into the basics of the profession but for purposes and circumstances of this nature, it will be prudent to right the wrongs and provide the needful. Remember that the intention to mislead is associated with both lying and deception, and they often have similar consequences. A misleading headline can thus do damage and the initial impressions formed from a headline can have a measurable influence on a person’s thoughts and perceptions which could be attributed to today’s Politico publication as flawed and misleading.
A media organization will be judged on the accuracy and reliability of its journalism, which must be well-sourced, supported by strong evidence, examined and tested, clear and unambiguous. Verified facts must form the basis of all news, not rumor and speculation.
The Independent Media Commission was set up to regulate the excesses and inadequacies that are involved in the practice of the profession. Its media code of practice gave premium to the principle of accuracy as an essential component in the news business and a basis to informing public debate. Accuracy comes ahead of speed. If you are not sure, hold fire. A concept that will be described by a media guru as WARP SPEED JOURNALISM. Those who trust you will be prepared to wait for your version. In fact, they might use your coverage to check whether a hastily prepared item by a competitor has any truth in it. This presupposes that caution is particularly needed if the topic is controversial. In such cases, too much haste can cause lasting damage to your news brand.
The publication is clearly unprofessional and ethically repugnant. The State House report attributed to in today’s misleading Politico report pointed out the significance of the construction of the Mamamah Airport to the country’s economy and reiterated the Chinese government’s continued willingness and determination to provide solutions to whatever challenges militating against the commencement of the project. Reiterating commitment to the full implementation of the project is markedly different from damning the advice of World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The president stating the need for the airport to be constructed in the mainland coupled with the avowed benefits to the country’s socio-economic advancement need not be overemphasized.
We believed that this erroneous publication is misleading and Politico must ensure that their practice falls within the ethical considerations of the profession.