Letters to the Editor

Fast news means less truth

Rapidity of news reporting and commentary has come at a terrible price.

While electronic media and computer devices help society progress, sensationalism has too often dominated journalism. Lamenting this loss is not new, but a recent credible source puts a sobering face on it.

Eric Alterman, a columnist for The Nation magazine, writes a graphic scenario under his title “Paper Rout.” This account makes a good case that the swift spread of electronic efficiency may not be all a blessing.

The news about a great loss from advertising revenue is not news to hard copy journalism. A more frightening fact is that instant delivery of services is at the expense of researched truth and substantive commentary.

Alterman gives credit where due, stating that CBS’s “60 Minutes” is one example of in-depth reporting. Interestingly, he says that online reporters glean coverage from the print media — and by implication, without giving credit.

Says Alterman, “And as these (online) sources come to dominate public discussion, verifiable truth becomes harder to find, while lies and other forms of misinformation become easier to exploit.”

Donald O. Cassidy