Reliable Sources Discusses How Media Outlets Need To Fix Their Headlines In Response To Trump's Lies

Annenberg Public Policy Center's Kathleen Hall Jamieson: “Journalists Have To Find A Way In The Headline To Say 'Without Proof'”

From the March 5 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources

Video file

BRIAN STELTER (HOST): Kathleen, how do you view this in the perspective of a communications professor? Does Trump essentially break journalism by saying something that's outlandish, that  has no evidence backing it up? And then calls in journalists to report like it's any other claim by any other president?
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: Yes he does and he creates a dilemma for journalists because ordinarily journalists would say “the president said” and then would look for the alternative then to look for the documentation ask play through that narrative. But when there's no proof, journalists have to find a way in the headline to say “without proof Trump alleges” so we don't put in place the allegation as if it has some legitimacy, rather we should be saying where's the proof. What Trump specializes in is shifting the burden of proof. Making a charge with no evidence and then asking for an investigation shifts the burden of proof. Now someone is supposed to disprove an unproven allegation.
STELTER: Are journalists getting it right? In the banners, in the headlines, in the framing? Or are you seeing a lot of screw ups?

JAMIESON: Some of them are doing well. The New York Times this morning in print said “with no proof” -- this is the headline -- “Trump claims Obama tapped.” Now notice before you get to “Obama tapped” and lay down that as a possible charge, you've heard “with no proof” and “Trump claims.” I'd actually change the word claims to alleges to suggest that it really has no support so far.


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