ASK A QUESTION
When someone is indicted for a crime, it's standard for newspaper reports to state that he only "allegedly" did whatever he is accused of doing. But suppose that the guilt of the defendant is extremely well confirmed (a thousand witnesses saw him, and we have an HD-quality recording of the incident). If the trial has yet to arrive at a verdict, should reporters still insist upon use of the "alleged" qualification? In other words, should standards of assertion in journalism be tied to standards of assertion in judicial proceedings?
July 3, 2011