Jaylen Barford, victim of "new age" media

Growing up, I trusted the media to do thier jobs and
give me the unvarnished truth. I want to believe that
they did and I was not just a bit to naive. I want to
believe they were more about the truth and collecting
multiple sources that confirmed what they were handing
to the public. I want to believe they were giving me
information without any bias, not pushing a viewpoint,
but just handing me the information so I could decide.
The informed mind could always make better decisions
and we depended on them to keep us informed.

Now, I’m sad to say, I have difficulty trusting a vast
majority of what the media is shoveling these days. I’m
not saying there are not still some very good ones out
there that still work within the bounds of honesty, ethics,
integrity, and diligence. The problem is that breed of
journalist seem to be on the endangered species list.

In the digital age, truth has almost been sacrificed up
to the need to first. Now with everything tracked and your
success based on how many people you can get to “click”
on your site or article, first is the only bait they have
to attract the fish they require to keep those numbers up.
Get it out there, get it online, get it generating viewership.
If it turns out we are wrong, we will delete it, or print
a retraction, but we will still have created a ton of “hits”
and thats the real goal. Got to generate those hits for the
advertising department to be able to generate our income!

This type of thing makes me sick and I’m disgusted with how
very often this seems to happen. Once and while you can
chalk something up to a mistake, but its becoming to common
an occurance for that any more. I’ll not even get into the
putrid and vile ways biased propaganda has crept into the
media, that is another issue all by itself for another time
and another place.

I’m just so very thankful for the people we have here at
highlands that in my opinion still seem to follow the “old
school” mentality when it comes to reporting. Accurate, honest,
unbiased, and unvarnished seems to come before being first
with these guys. What journalist should be.

BTW, did anyone notice even in the retraction of the Barford
story, the news agency didn’t say it made a mistake. It put
all the blame on the police department. Completely bypassing
that its their own job to make sure what they report is accurate.
Its not up to the police to fact check the NWA website articles.
Here is the quote from thier retraction:

“The Fayetteville Police Department reported Jaylen Barford was
cited for shoplifting over the weekend at a Walmart Neighborhood
Market.”

“Police then informed KNWA/KFTA it wasn’t Barford cited, but a
girl he was with at the time.”

No apology, no admission of them making a mistake, nothing.
How pathetic!

I understand what you’re saying - and, it is most regrettable (I am just seeing this now for the first time; I missed the original announcement).

However, you have to understand that all a reporter can do is report what an “official agency” tells them. If the Police announce that Joe Smith is accused of X crime, then you report it - that way (that the Police said Joe Smith is accused of doing X). If you hear a rumor that Joe Smith did X, and the Police are about to arrest him for it, it would be unprofessional to report UNTIL you had contacted the Police to confirm. That would be a big problem.

But if you get the word from the Police - and then, they later change their tune, that IS the fault of the Police. And what you (media) reported is 100% accurate, that the POLICE announced that he was arrested for X. Note that is not the same as reporting the he DID X. Just reporting what the Police told you. And, that’s the job of the news media. To report things that creditable, responsible sources tell them or announce. The media is not to be blamed if what the Police report is wrong - unless they (media) somehow know that in advance of it becoming public knowledge. Even then, the reporting of what the Police told them is defensible and 100% accurate. That IS what they (media) were told.

Don’t necessarily disagree with the “new media” gripe but this is an interesting place to make your stand. The police, the agency that issued the citation, told KFSM than it was Barford that was cited. This one is on them, period. If you’re going to tell the media about a citation you issued, you should get the name correct.

Just so I’m clear here… Does the police in its official capacity call a media outlet to tell them who they arrested? Or was it just a source within the department that called someone and told the story. If its just a source, is it unreasonable to expect a second source to confirm a story, or is that just not a thing anymore?

blame the profession I work in if the police gave the wrong info out.

It wasn’t as if someone just said ’ hey, Jaylen Barford got arrested."

The police spokesman released the charge, made clear it was a citation and not an arrest, gave the specific time he was arrested, the specific place and said - it was Jaylen Barford.

The first report included all of those details accurately and then the police came back and said hey, it wasn’t Jaylen Barford like we said, but his girlfriend.

And then later the police added - We apologize.

New media is not journalism, it’s click bait. And those that are so-called victims of new media sometime, don’t deal in reality themselves.

Old media is still well-sourced accurate details.

That would need to be answered by the media outlet who first reported it.

In my student days, as if I didn’t have enough to do with a full class load and 60 hours a week at the Broyles Center, I also wrote for the Traveler as part of a class assignment in Journalism. At one time they stuck me with the Fayetteville police beat. My job was to go to the cop shop every morning and go through the stack of reports, which could be arrests, calls they responded to, or anything else. One day I found a DWI citation for a local TV personality. I’d probably have failed the reporting class if they’d known I sat on it, but I sat on it. DWI frankly wasn’t that big a deal then before MADD and the anti-drunk driving campaigns. Later on this media personality become more closely associated with the UA athletic program, an association which lasted for a number of years. I’ve always wondered if I would have torpedoed that if I’d written about that DWI arrest. And, to be sure, since I didn’t read the Fayetteville paper every day, it’s entirely possible that they either ran the story, or sat on it just like I did.

The real issue here is Bardford name was associated with a citation for shop lifting and it hit the news. Who ever it was that caused this to happen is lacking in self discipline and must have an ultra ego.
That’s wrong period!

My first thought was what Votan brought up as a concern. Is the Fay PD obligated to report even a ticket by a UA student athlete? Or was this somehow dug up by chance, or a tip from someone at WM. Dudley is this something you can ask from the source or is this crossing some journal ethics line? If you don’t feel comfortable that’s cool too.

Surely surely Fay PD doesnt make this a habit for student athletes. But I’ve always had my concerns.