Journalism is not a perfect science.
Exceptional journalism can be powerful—magnifying inequity, exposing indiscretions, and holding the powerful accountable. Examples of heroic journalism from 2015 include the vindication of Bill Cosby’s victims, the brave reporters in Roanoke, Virginia, continuing to practice their craft after experiencing violence and tragedy, and a local newspaper digging into the failings of its school system.
However, poor journalism can be damaging—resulting in negative consequences for those being covered and staining the reputation of the whole industry. This past year saw its fair share of journalism stumbles, including NBC’s once-beloved anchor Brian Williams becoming a butt of every joke about failed memories, reporters rushing to identify suspects, and Gawker’s misjudgment of what is considered newsworthy.
The examples above and more are featured in a comprehensive piece by David Uberti (@DavidUberti) for the Columbia Journalism Review titled, The best and worst journalism of 2015. I highly recommended the article for those wishing to recall the year that was in journalism.
Here’s to 2016 and the ups and downs sure to come in the ever-evolving world of journalism.