Journalism! Now with 10 percent less quality

Another top reporter has left The Washington Post, completing the exodus hat trick. The paper retains none of the three reporters who won numerous awards, including a 2006 Pulitzer, for their investigation of Jack Abramoff. Then a powerful D.C. lobbyist, the reporters unraveled Abramoff’s string of tax evasion and fraud.

Meanwhile, the Denver Post will consolidate copy-editing positions.

These moves intimate subtle changes that can have profound, if not always manifest, results for readers. There are plenty of journal articles I’ve read for my thesis that indicate people do respond to better copy editing, fact checking and overall quality of content.

In a study sponsored by ACES, researchers again found that editing matters. Good content feeds into trust, as more of my thesis research suggests. Unfortunately, reader trust in journalism ranks in declining supply these days.

The takeaway here is simple: media organizations should not sacrifice speed for accuracy because money sprouts from content, not Twitter live feeds.

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