The most important aspect of journalism can be boiled down to one thing — accuracy.
That was the main message delivered Friday by guest speaker Eric Ebeling, executive editor of The Indiana Gazette, to young writers at the Gazette’s School News reporter luncheon at the Holiday Inn in White Township.
Writers in attendance from Harmony, Homer-Center, Indiana, Indiana County Technology Center, Marion Center and Seeds of Faith Christian Academy were honored for their weekly contributions to the newspaper throughout the school year. In all, writers from 12 area school districts provide coverage of events happening in the elementary, junior and senior high schools.
The writers were treated to lunch and entertained and enlightened by Ebeling’s firsthand experiences in the news reporting field.
Accuracy, he stressed, is the foundation upon which journalists must build all other skills.
He said while we are all human and we all make mistakes, a journalist’s job is to make every attempt to get the information right; ensure that it comes from credible sources; and fact-check names and the news before it gets printed.
Some tips that Ebeling offered to aid in accuracy were: to take accurate notes; refer to original documents; remain skeptical; verify and fact-check content; and check names, numbers and quotes.
Most importantly, he said, reporters must ask questions if they are unsure of something.