How journalists verify (New research details how journalists verify information - Poynter)
In his book, “The Victorian Internet,” author Tom Standage describes how, after inventing the telegraph, its creators struggled for years before the world figured out how it might actually be used. In 1844, with a U.S. government-funded telegraph line functioning between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, its inventor, Samuel F.B. Morse, was still trying to convince a skeptical world of his invention’s usefulness. “Yet after a while [Morse] realized that everybody still thought of the telegraph as a novelty, as nothing more than an amusing subject for a newspaper article, rather than the revolutionary new form of communication that he envisaged,” Standage writes.
Morse had originally tried to convince Congress to fund and use the telegraph for government communications, but the invention really took off when it started to be used for business and commercial communications. By the early 1850’s, sending and receiving telegrams had become “part of everyday life for many people around the world.”
Now, a century and a half later—and almost 15 years into the digital media revolution—there seem to be a few important things to note.”
Actually, aggregation has a long, proud and ethical history in journalism. If you’re an old-school journalist, don’t think Huffington Post or Drudge when you think about aggregation; think AP. The Associated Press is primarily an aggregation service*, except that it its members pay huge fees for the privilege of being aggregated (and for receiving content aggregated from other members).
The New York Times and Washington Post also have long histories of aggregation. In my years at various Midwestern newspapers, we reported big local and regional stories that attracted the attention of the Times, Post and other national news organizations. Facts we had reported first invariably turned up in the Times and Post stories without attribution or with vague attribution such as “local media reports.” I don’t say that critically. When I was a reporter and editor at various Midwestern newspapers, we did the same thing with facts we aggregated from smaller newspapers as we did regional versions of their local stories.”