Do misspellings in journalism lead to distrust?

In a digital era where people want their information in the quickest manner possible, there is agrowing concern about errors in grammar. Should it be acceptable to have street signs abbreviated? What about informal papers? Depending on whom you inquire, the acceptance is not so bad.

What about journalists though? Poynter’s Mallary Jean Tenore writes that reporters should acknowledge them, but not include them in stories unless they are direct quotes.

She suggests that journalists’ primary principle is accuracy. If getting facts correct is so vital, then spelling them out correctly should be as well. Misspelled words might appeal to one audience, but could defer another. Tenore provides research to support that inaccuracies cause the public to lose trust in the media. Trust after all, is what ensures credibility.

Mistakes are made. Words can unintentionally be misspelled, but actions to rectify those errors are necessary.




One Comment on “Do misspellings in journalism lead to distrust?”

  1. hkreese says:

    Abbreviating surely has its purposes, one of the main ones obviously being to entertain the demand for, as you said, quickness when it comes to obtaining information. The consistency of abbreviation is also widely appreciated to the point of becoming protocol for organizations such as the AP Press. However, abbreviation and speed do not function together as an exclusive unit, and to abbreviate street signs for the sake of quicker reading would be more than unnecessary, mundane even. When it comes to public signs, the individual messages may be comprised by any reduction in instruction, whether through imagery or words. In news, on the other hand, abbreviation emphasizes the overall message by decreasing wordiness and redundancy and making the best possible use of space. Unless street signs need to become smaller, abbreviation does not need to overflow into that particular visual sector of the everyday public.

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