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Beginning a news story with "rumors abound" and a similar start to a column

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mr. X, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. Mr. X

    Mr. X Member

    I just read a story from a top reporter in these parts that begins, "Rumors abound that Piers Morgan, a judge on Britain's Got Talent and America's Got Talent, will replace Larry King on CNN," which then goes on to cite a report from Britain's Daily Telegraph.

    I have wanted to about this ever since a top columnist around here began a column in April by writing "totally unconfirmed reports" about a leading hotel executive changing jobs.

    If I was editing the first story, the lede would have been, "Piers Morgan, a judge on `Britain's Got Talent' and `America's Got Talent,' will replace Larry King on CNN, Britain's Daily Telegraph reported Monday."

    If I was editing the second, I would have asked the columnist to be more specific to get something -- anything -- stronger that "totally unconfirmed reports."

    To me, in the first instance, what the news is is far more important than "rumors abound." "Rumors abound" is terrible.

    In the second instance, despite the columnist's great reputation, I think readers would wonder, "How true is this?"

    What would you do?
  2. CR19

    CR19 Member

    I have never heard the phrase "Rumors Abound" in an article. On the first example, I would do it the way you did it. With the second example, the word "totally" should be dropped, and it would just read "unconfirmed reports". I'd try to call the hotel and see what they say before writing "unconfirmed reports," though.
  3. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    Rumors rarely abound. They almost always run rampant.
  4. TwoGloves

    TwoGloves Well-Known Member

    I hate the word rumor in reference to a story that might happen.
  5. CR19

    CR19 Member

    Whenever I hear the word "rumors", I automatically think of TMZ, E!, and those type of places, not about news/sports articles in newspapers.
  6. ringer

    ringer Member

    Reporting rumors without an attempt to confirm them is not only lazy, but it's not journalism. It's gossip.

    I'd kill the story unless the reporter actually got a confirmation to dispel the rumors, a denial, a "no comment" or "representative would not return calls."
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