Is it the responsibility of journalists and editors to delve into the information and fact check it, when the local real estate boards release their market information related to the MLS system?
A quick wiki of journalistic integrity gives us this:
Let's take a look at the most recent news piece on the Victoria August numbers. Tony Joe, president of the VREB, is quoted as an expert. As is the developer behind Chelsea.
the principles of — truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability — as these apply to the acquisition of newsworthy information and its subsequent dissemination to the public.
These are two individuals who make a living selling real estate and have a much better grasp of the current state of the market than you or I, but it serves them no purpose to state the obvious truths. The developer's job is to impart confidence in his business. Tony's?, he's elected by the local group of REALTORs to impart confidence in them. I don't believe Tony is attempting to pull the wool over anyones eyes; here is his key message:
well-priced properties can still move quicklyThis statement is fundamentally true. Well-priced properties can, and do, move quickly. He's told us a few things this month: the market dropped by 5%, if you want to sell your place next month, drop your price, and if you're looking at buying, low-ball. He's also telling us REALTORs are the only ones with the ability to well-price your home. His job is to increase sales volume, not necessarily price, and that is what I see is his focus; he's a confidence cheerleader.
His explanations of why sales are down "vacation-caused" are weak. We know they are weak. Roger has proven them patently false, using VREB's own data. Does Tony have a responsibility to prove his assertions? I think such a small statement can get passed off, and should be, by anyone looking at buying or selling a house in Victoria. Look, if you're buying or selling, that one sentence in one article on one day should not be the deciding factor in your decision.
The bigger question is, should Carla have called him on it? Does she, or her editors, have a responsibility to fact check a quote? Probably not. She is publishing someone else's statement, not her own, and not trying to take credit for it. She should make sure she quoted him correctly, and if she did, Tony ends up wearing the egg on his face.
The trouble is, it spits in the face of those of us who wrongly assume that the MSM has journalistic integrity in today's market place. Are we wrong to expect it? The internet has changed everything. It has democratized information. You and I, we both have the same access to information as the average journalist these days. We can decipher the spin, we can analyse the stats, we can even publish our opinions and facts that we find. If I spouted off on this blog more often, you wouldn't read it. Many people don't.
But when the MSM drops their integrity, they sell less papers and there is a cause and effect reaction in the market that punishes them greatly. They've already dropped the ball on classifieds. They're dropping the ball on advertising. They're dropping the ball on reporting. The TC especially is dropping the ball on what people have come to expect of the the internet (a voice of their own) and don't even allow comments, moderated or not. I'll leave you with this to end my editorial:
Every news organization has only its credibility and reputation to rely on.The MSM has been slow to adapt to the internet reality, as have the players that rely on them to get their messages out. In effect, these gang of change-fearing "presstitutes" are committing a slow suicide. Check out their stock valuations, they're not making money and they're getting hammered by investors.-Tony Burman, editor-in-chief of CBC News
Their credibility is crumbling and their reputation is diminishing. And the consequence of this is that people seek information elsewhere and advertisers follow. I fully expect to see further consolidation of media outlets (National Post is probably done in the very near future) and further entrenchment of the old ways of doing business. Because they really just don't get it. Nor do I, but I think I may be onto something...