In journalism, we validate statements. Period. That’s the whole job. For about 100 years, the essence of journalistic education has been to teach elementary discipline about the handling of facts, like the need for multiple independent sources. This training is how our industry gets useful work out of employees whose judgement, intelligence and veracity readers otherwise would have no reason to trust. As recent events have proved, let these disciplines slip even a bit, let reporters fall back on their native judgement and instincts and preferred “narratives,” and readers quickly learn just how well-founded such distrust is.
That is why Fairfax failed. Why the ABC requires a $1 billion subsidy.