Twice Burned

So, this happened:

 

image

But the real fool is me

 

One of the worst things that can happen to a journalist (but a lot better than being shot over a story) is doing a story based on false information.

This is, after all, the discipline of verification.

In Philippine media circles, it’s called kuryente, Filipino for electricity and also slang for an unspecified sexually-transmitted infection.

And that happening is as painful as getting an electric shock or an unspecified STI.

This is the sort of thing that I managed to avoid as a reporter, but now that I work the desk, it has been a lot easier to slip up.

A veteran editor once told me: Your job is to assume that people you’re editing don’t know what they’re doing.

I’ve always felt that was a little too pessimistic, but it seems a safer rule of thumb now.

But,really, that just means to not be cocky about anything and to verify everything, which I should be doing anyway.

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