El futuro de los datos

BUDAPEST – En una reciente conferencia de editores de periódicos en la que participé, se congregó una pequeña multitud para hablar sobre periodismo y nuevos medios. Cuando le comenté al grupo que había iniciado mi carrera como verificadora de datos en una revista, varios se emocionaron, como si alguien le hubiera contado a un grupo de cursas que de niño había sido monaguillo.

Traje a cuento mi pasado porque pienso que la verificación de datos es el mejor entrenamiento no sólo para el periodismo, sino para la vida en general. Nos enseña a pensar con escepticismo. Es fácil creer algo cuando quien lo afirma es alguien que parece informado. Pero si uno tiene la responsabilidad de verificar los datos, escucha más cuidadosamente.

¿En qué fuentes basa sus datos la persona que habla? ¿Hay algo que lo beneficia, un precio accionario más alto, un honorario por publicidad o la gratitud de otra persona? ¿O simplemente es parcial por la gente que conoce, la compañía para la que trabaja o las actitudes que aprendió en su casa?

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