Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Truth fallacy in journalism

I have a bit of a conundrum regarding facts.

There's a Boulder company, Domino Inc., that I'm putting into the Business Report's database, and I can't tell if its an Inc. or an LLC. In our recent issue, we published it as an Inc., but their Web site says its an LLC.

Many things could have happened,

a) one of our writers assumed it was an Inc.
b) it really is an Inc., but the company hasn't updated its Web site
c) the person who put together the press release is at fault.

It makes me wonder how much of what's published is true, and how close we can really get to the truth.

It happens with much bigger things, too. You might ask a public company for their revenues, and they quote 8.5 billion dollars, while Hoovers.com, the trusted source for information on public companies, quotes 8.2 billion.

How close can we get to the truth in everyday life, who is responsible for the truth, and is there such a thing?

I am posing this as a question that has both journalistic and philosophical implications.

Does anyone know of what this phenomenon is called in philosophy? The truth fallacy, or something?

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