Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

As much as I understand a journalist's raison d'etre (reason of being), they hold a lot of power when they can publish to a widespread readership.

This is great if everything is balanced and fair (this is of course all relative and must use reason), however I believe companies and people aren't given the opportunity to share their side of the story - or their counterargument.

Usually you may see a quote of someone's response in to being questioned about something, or perhaps a company will say "no comment at this time" - neither of these are good IMHO.

I feel pre-publishing, a person should be given the opportunity to respond - and at least part of that response be included in the publication - and always there should be a permanent link clearly highlighted to a third-party platform allowing the person's full response (or really all people and organizations mentioned in an article), which a link/response that can be added to/edited later (with version control to view the previous versions - leaving the purpose of editing to expand upon or clarify).

Who pays for the wheels to get going on this kind of system? Is it safe to be government supported? This is an important system I believe we must implement as soon as possible. Getting it adopted is possible, it just takes effort which includes needing enough resources for a longer runway. It feels like it would be a similar type of service of importance as Wikipedia.




The first part of what you have outlined is in fact part of 'proper' journalism here in the UK. A journalist is supposed to approach the subject of the story and get their point of view, partly for reasons of fairness and balance as you rightly point out, but mostly as a defence against defamation actions after it is published. You'll notice that the BBC always does this.

However, it can very difficult to get any sort of comment out of any party that has acted less than admirably, and many see staying tight-lipped as a strategy that can make a bad story go away. Of course, it doesn't work like this.

Additionally, some publishers have deep enough pockets that they are prepared to risk a defamation action if the story is strong enough, or they actively don't want to tip off the subject to upcoming coverage because they may put countermeasures in place (either legal or a pre-emptive "My drugs hell"-type confessional in a rival publication)

The difficulty with quoting full responses anywhere is that, just for example, anyone ever asked for comment by one of our more popular UK papers would be well advised to work in something about their past support of the Nazis or indeed the tax arrangements of their proprietor. I'd expect many such responses to be defamatory in themselves, and thus unpublishable.


It sounds as though something like the Ethereum network would be exactly what you're looking for. It's decentralized, meaning no one entity has the ability to remove it. And it is as democratic as you want it to be, meaning the user base can push for the requirement of fairness you suggest.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: