Fast and accurate? A professional’s guide.

July 19, 2008

Fast, cheap and accurate has always been an implausible trinity. Putting cheap aside for a moment…have we gotten too fast in the age of e-communication to be accurate? While professionals in journalism, advertising and PR take shots at one another, dragging each other back into the bucket of mediocrity like crabs, the common man has gotten into the game with self-publishing, blogging, flogging and video posting. As professionals, we have to step back and remember the ethical and professional considerations–and requirements–of accuracy.

American Advertising Federation Code of Ethics

Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics

Public Relations Society of America Code of Ethics

A 24-hour news and publishing cycle helps no one if no one can trust the information. When considering this, Edward R. Murrow’s thoughts from 1964 are equally, if not more, compelling today. He said, “The speed of communications is wondrous to behold. It is also true that speed can multiply the distribution of information that we know to be untrue.” This was a concern before the Internet, and should always be a concern of professionals who wield the power of the press.